Bakersfield · Energy

Leaky Bakersfield oil wells spew explosive level of methane, state inspectors find.

Some Bakersfield residents are concerned about potential explosions after a state agency found that six idle oil wells near homes were leaking methane in the past several days.

State and regional inspectors found concentrations of methane in the air around some of the wells at levels considered potentially explosive and environmental activists in the region are worried that other chemicals may also be leaking from the wells that could pose a threat to public health.

But Uduak-Joe Ntuk, head of the California Geologic Energy Management division of the California Department of Conservation, the agency that oversees wells and confirmed they were leaking, said in a statement that the leaks were “minor in nature and do not pose an immediate threat to public health or safety.”

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.