State Launches Probe Into Oil Field Spills – Including One That’s Been Flowing Since 2003

State oil and gas regulators say they’re launching an investigation of operations in a Kern County oil field after a series of large, uncontrolled crude petroleum releases near Chevron wells — including one that has continued on and off for more than 16 years and may have spewed out more than 50 million gallons of crude oil.

The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, known as DOGGR, served Chevron with a notice of violation on Friday, ordering the company to stop major, uncontrolled surface flows at a site called Gauge Setting 5, or GS-5, in the Cymric oil field. Oil has been flowing from the location since March 2003.