The oil production pipeline was used from the 1930s to 1994, when it shut down after a 170-barrel spill on the golf course. The proposed project would reopen the pier’s oil operations and permanently decommission the second pier, which has a well and was used for processing and disposal operations.
The proposal expects the production of 150 barrels of oil per day for the first month and then a larger volume, not to exceed 500 barrels per day. The well would have 20 years of productive life but output would taper off to about 50 barrels per day after two years, according to the State Lands Commission.
The resulting water and gas would be separated at the Ellwood Onshore Facility.
South Coast residents will get a chance to comment on the draft environmental impact report for State Oil and Gas Lease 421 this week when the State Lands Commission presents the project and begins accepting comments.
The commission is hosting meetings at 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday at Goleta City Council chambers, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B.
The City of Goleta has opposed the project in the past, but the State Lands Commission staff has said Venoco has a vested right to develop its lease, City Attorney Tim Giles said.
“As long as that’s the way State Lands is going to treat it, that’s the way — for all intents and purposes — it is,” he told Noozhawk.
If the state certifies the draft environmental impact report and approves the project, Venoco still must acquire permits from the city and the California Coastal Commission to implement the project development, Giles said.
If the project is approved by the state, the city would have to amend some permits for the extracted oil to be transported to and processed at the Ellwood Onshore Facility. Historically, that oil was processed on the pier and shipped away by barge, Giles said.
Should the city block processing at the Ellwood facility, the draft report identifies the pier itself as an alternative site, a potentially perilous location if oil were to spill directly into the ocean, he said.
If oil is processed at the pier, it would be shipped by pipeline to Line 196 coming out of the Ellwood facility. There’s no scenario under which the barges are reintroduced, according to the proposal.
Giles noted that the city won’t create its own environmental documents for this project, so he said it’s important for residents and the city itself to comment on the state report.
All written comments must be made by Dec. 20 and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Revised PRC 421 recommissioning DEIR comments.”
Comments also can be submitted to Eric Gillies, assistant chief of environmental planning and management for the State Lands Commission. He can be reached by telephone at 916.574.1890 and fax at 916.574.1885.
Click here to read the draft report online. Copies also are available at the Goleta Branch Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave.; the City of Goleta, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B; the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.; and the County of Santa Barbara, 123 E. Anapamu St.