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Work on old oil well may have caused California spill

July 20, 2019

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Chevron says an 800,000-gallon oil spill in Central California may have started when crews tried to recap an abandoned well.

KQED News says the company held a briefing Friday about the seepage that began in May in a Kern County oil field west of Bakersfield.

Chevron says it believes the spill stemmed from efforts to remove aging cement plugs from its non-producing wells and replace them.

The company says that the initial flows came from a previously damaged well that was being re-entered. Chevron says more oil spilled in June when crews did pressure tests and later tried to complete the job of replacing cement in the well.

Chevron says the oil has only fouled about an acre of land and 90 percent of the spilled material has been recaptured.

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This story has been corrected to credit KQED News, not KQED-TV.

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