Aera Energy removing drilling rig in 2020, ending jobs for more than 90 contractors

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Aera Energy LLC is making big changes to its drilling operations next year.

The company has announced that due to pressure from state regulations, it will remove one of its six drilling rigs from its 2020 schedule, resulting in the loss of jobs for more than 90 contractors. None of these are Aera employees, according to the company. 

Aera said the decision was made as a result of regulatory disruptions in the permitting approval process by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). Since June, Aera Energy and other oil and gas producers stopped receiving DOGGR permits for well-stimulation treatments. 

The state also recently announced a moratorium on new oil extraction wells using high-pressure steaming, which has impacted Aera’s diatomite thermal recovery project in South Belridge. 

“While one of these disruptions alone could be taken in stride, combined they have forced an adjustment of our 2020 drilling plans,” said Director of Public Affairs Cindy Pollard. “Laying down this drilling rig means there will be suppliers who do not have work to return to in 2020, and that is why this decision has been so difficult for Aera’s leadership team to have to make, especially at this time of year.”

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