“New and historical data show no evidence of water from hydrocarbon-bearing formations in groundwater overlying the field,” note the authors of a new study near the Oxnard Oil Field in Ventura County commissioned by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The report, issued last month, found no scientific indication that oil and gas operations contaminated aquifers near the field. It also confirmed that water in the aquifers complies with state and federal drinking water standards.
The California State Water Resources Control Board administered the USGS study through its groundwater monitoring program. From 2017 to 2019, USGS scientists compiled information from the Oxnard-Camarillo area. They also consulted with California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) staff familiar with the oil field. Their findings appear in the journal, Science of the Total Environment.
The study’s results contradict assertions by anti-oil advocates, who for years have erroneously claimed that local groundwater aquifers had been “contaminated” by oil and gas operations.
“The final study confirms what we’ve known all along: Ventura County allowed its policymaking process to be hijacked by a small number of people who peddled falsehoods, misrepresentations and scare tactics to shut down an industry without cause,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, which represents local energy producers.