A high-profile oil leak near McKittrick has resumed its flow after being inactive for months.
Chevron reported that the leak, called a surface expression, reactivated Friday and brought 115 barrels of fluid to the surface in what state regulators described as a slow trickle. The company said the fluid was entirely contained by berms.
Only 12 percent of the fluid, or about 588 gallons, was believed to be crude oil. The rest is produced water, the naturally occurring saltwater that comes up from the ground with oil.
The company said by email it believes the reactivation resulted from its efforts to permanently stop such leaks from recurring in the surrounding Cymric Oilfield.
Since it first erupted in May, the leak has been a major embarrassment for Chevron, which was fined $2.7 million by state regulators over a series of leaks in the area.
California banned surface expressions in April, a little more than a month before a nearby leak began.
The sight of what looked like a river of oil in the Cymric gained notice statewide. The administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom cited the leak last year when it placed a moratorium on cyclic steaming, the high-pressure steam injection technique suspected of causing the leak.
The last time the area leaked oily fluid was in November. At least 1.4 million gallons of oily fluid have come to the surface in the area since mid-May, making it one of the worst recorded accidents of its kind in state history.
Chevron said it is monitoring the situation and that no personnel, wildlife or waterway have been impacted by the latest leak.
"We take our responsibility to operate safely and in a manner that protects public health, the communities where we operate, and the environment very seriously," the company stated.
"We remain committed to stopping and preventing seeps, consistent with (state regulators') new regulations. In the course of our efforts to permanently stop the GS-5 seep in the Cymric field, some seep reactivations may occur. Our commitment to stop GS-5, per (the state's) request, outweighs the possible risk of a short-term seep reactivation."