History of the East Cat Canyon site

Since oil operations began in the Santa Maria Basin in 1889, the region has produced more than one billion barrels of oil. Historically, oil production activities at the project site were operated by independent operators and later Husky Oil Company, starting in the early 1900s. In 1984, the project site was transferred to Shell Oil Company. Intermittent production activities at this site were conducted until 1989, when Shell ceased its operations due to the economics at that time.

In 1997, Shell and Mobil combined their California exploration and production operations to form Aera Energy and field ownership was transferred to Aera. The wells were temporarily decommissioned and nearly all of the facilities were removed by 2002.

Since 2012 another unaffiliated company has operated several oil wells on leases in the field.

Project description and Q&A

For additional information about our project, please click here to download our project description.
To download a Q&A about the project, please click here.

About Aera Energy

Our company has current operations in Kern, Ventura, Fresno, and Monterey counties. We are characterized by our excellent safety and environmental performance, innovative business practices, and active community involvement.

  • Aera has approximately 1,370 employees and provides thousands of additional jobs among its contractors in California.
  • Aera is a major taxpayer in the counties where it operates. It is one of the top five property taxpayers in Kern, Monterey and Ventura counties.

For more information about Aera, visit our website at aeraenergy.com

Focused on safety

Aera has an unwavering focus on creating a safe and healthy work environment. Aera has achieved an excellent safety record for employees and contractors with a total recordable incident rate that is 11 times better than that of the nationwide manufacturing sector. Aera’s excellent safety record results from extensive safety training for employees and contractors; investment in technology needed to operate safely; adherence to the highest standards of safety practices; and working closely with local, state and federal agencies such as Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

Protecting human health and the environment

Our focus on safety reflects our commitment to protecting people and the environment. Aera respects the unique environmental resources and the natural beauty of our regional landscape. We work hard to comply with all laws and regulations that protect air and water quality, wildlife habitat and the health of our employees and neighboring communities.

What People Are Saying About Aera’s East Cat Canyon Project

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A committed community partner

Aera is recognized as a valuable community partner in the areas where we do business. From AYSO to the YMCA, our employees and their families volunteer thousands of hours every year to community activities. In addition, Aera annually provides financial support to more than 100 California community organizations. As our business develops in Santa Barbara County, we have also been actively engaged as a community partner.