Saturday, December 16 , 2017, 3:56 am | Smoke 54º

 
 
 
 
Noozhawk Asks: Information + Inspiration for Santa Barbara County

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Planned for 2 Seep Tents Underwater near Platform Holly?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

There are two seep tents underwater near Platform Holly. If these were operated by Venoco, what will happen to them? Will seeps increase? 

— Tony Troutman, former Carpinteria resident

In 1982, Mobil and ARCO placed two seep-containment devices side by side in about 220 feet of water just east of Platform Holly, according to the UC Santa Barbara Hydrocarbon Seep Project website.

The two steel tents, measuring 100 feet by 100 feet each, were designed to capture emissions from various hydrocarbon seeps on the sea floor.  

“Captured gas is sent ashore through a sea floor pipeline for commercial sale, and oil is periodically removed at the tents,”according to UCSB. 

The two seep tents have not been in service in recent years because of reduced seep activity and some degradation, according to California State Lands Commission spokeswoman Sheri Pemberton.

Venoco has declared bankruptcy, stopped operations at Platform Holly offshore of Goleta, and quitclaimed its South Ellwood Field leases back to the state. 

The seep tents will be addressed as part of the decommissioning plan and environmental impact report, Pemberton said.

“Empiric evidence suggests that seep activity will continue to increase in the immediate area because production ceased,” Pemberton said.

The seep containment devices have captured an estimated 7,600 million cubic feet of natural gas over their lifetime, according to South Ellwood Field environmental review documents from the California State Lands Commission. 

Former Carpinteria resident Tony Troutman, who now lives in Spring, Texas, was curious about the future of the seep tents since Platform Holly is being decommissioned. 

“I lived and worked in Carpinteria for many years,” Troutman wrote in an email. “Less than 10 years ago, I was out near there (the seep tents) in a boat and the area was covered with oil and gas was making the ocean look like it was boiling.”

Venoco sponsored boat rides, so-called seep tours, for more than 10 years that showed the natural oil and gas seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel.    

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Noozhawk Asks Sponsors

Noozhawk wishes to thank our Hawks Club members for their generosity and willingness to make Noozhawk Asks a reality.

It’s not too late to get your name on this list. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact publisher Bill Macfadyen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.456.7195. Contributions to Noozhawk are not tax-deductible.

Thank you.

Suzie & Fred Allen

Katy Bazylewicz

Casey Bemis

Jean Blois

Ri-Pen Chou

Jeff DeVine

Brian Fahnestock

Judy Frost

Michael Gartzke

Marilyn Gilbert

Wesley Ginther

Stephanie Gombrelli

Patricia Griffin

Hib Halverson

Ed Heron

Bonnie and Richard Jensen

Danny Langhorne

Sofie Langhorne

Colin Macfadyen

Kirsten Macfadyen

Alixe Mattingly

Sheila & Frank McGinity

Kathleen Meehan

Kristen Miller

Bree Morris

Paula Patrick

Ed Seaman

Elizabeth Tilton

Kyra Turner

Scott Van Horn

Noozhawk’s note: Several dozen readers requested anonymity with their contributions.