Calif. officials blitz leaking idle oil wells in Bakersfield

State regulators found a pair of idle wells had “pinhole-sized leaks,” causing alarm for neighbors in east Bakersfield.

Kevin Schula came home Thursday afternoon to a distinctive smell.

“When you try to light your stove and it doesn’t light, and it’s been going for ten seconds — that’s exactly what it smelled like,” Schula said.


Hours before, homeowners in the East Bakersfield neighborhood had been visited by a man who gave them a flier.

“Warning,” it said.

“Major gas leak in your area.”

“I actually went in and closed the windows,” local resident Bobbi Scales said.

Multiple organizations confirmed in statements to Bakersfield TV station KGET that a pair of idle oil wells — wells that aren’t in use but haven’t been sealed — were found with what the California Department of Conservation called “pinhole-sized leaks.”

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