Aera’s President and CEO Erik Bartsch shares his thoughts on better tomorrows in 2022
For many, a new year symbolizes a new beginning offering reflection on an eventful 2021 while anticipating better tomorrows in 2022. Despite the uncertainty of last year, I’m proud that Aera stood strong delivering amazing accomplishments driven by our people and our shared mission.
What were some of Aera’s major accomplishments in 2021?
We demonstrated yet again that Aera is an energy leader. We were named a “Best Energy Workplace” for the third time in a row by ALLY Energy. The award was designed to honor the best of the best in the energy industry, those who lead by example, and show others anything is possible. And right here in our own backyard, Aera Energy was once again named one of the best places to work on the Central Coast by the Pacific Coast Business Times.
And while we were able to do more development drilling in 2021 than the year before, those jobs and supplies are under threat as we enter 2022. So long as California requires liquid hydrocarbons, and it will for years and decades to come, the hard-working people of California deserve the chance to supply it. And for the Californians who rely on the hydrocarbons for their daily lives, the supply should be affordable. And it starts with drilling permits, which as I write this is at a complete standstill in Kern County.
What will Aera focus on in 2022?
While we’re focused on meeting today’s demand for oil and gas, we are also committed to ensuring California’s clean energy future. It’s exciting for me that for the fifth year Aera’s carbon footprint dropped last year and we’re going even further with our teams assessing feasibility of a significant Carbon Capture Usage and Storage CCUS project here in Kern County.
CCUS is a proven technology borrowing from much of the know-how that drives Aera’s business today. With CCUS, CO2 is taken from various sources and then pumped deep underground, relying on the same physical traps that nature has used to store oil and gas for millions of years. This is the first step to publicly showing Aera’s capabilities in efficient execution, continuous improvement, and deployment of Aera’s unique skills in the CCUS industry.
We’re also keenly focused on people going home alive and well as the precondition for everything we do in 2022. While we saw amazing examples of safety excellence across the business in 2021, there are still learnings that we can take from last year and we’re committed to digesting those and taking the opportunity for continuous improvement going forward.
What opportunities do you see for Aera in 2022?
With Aera employees’ continued resiliency and flexibility, I see 2022 as a time of endless possibilities and exciting innovation for the company and the communities we serve and support. With our unique ability to provide oil and gas for Californians by Californians we are committed to making our communities and this beautiful state a cleaner, more affordable place to live and work. Working with each other, not against each other, we can build a constructive energy future that balances the needs of our environment with the economic well-being of all Californians. So, let’s all enter this new year invigorated and ready build the future we all envision for California.