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City Considers Agreement with Venoco
updated: Apr 10, 2014, 3:22 PM

Source: City of Goleta

State Lands Commission to Decide on Oil Extraction Off Goleta's Coast; City Considers Agreement with Venoco for Pier Removal by 2030

On Tuesday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m., the Goleta City Council will review a settlement agreement with Venoco for a final and permanent closure of the last remaining oil and gas production piers in California by 2030. This agreement came because the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) will soon consider whether Venoco, Inc. can extract oil at 421. Earlier this year the Council directed staff to work with Venoco on such an agreement which would be beneficial to Goleta by removing the piers and restoring the coastline.


The California State Lands Commission (CSLC) will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Airport, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045.

CSLC is reviewing an application by Venoco, for the re-commissioning of the oil well located on what is commonly referred to as the 421 Piers adjacent to the Ellwood area of Goleta. Venoco holds a lease from CSLC for these wells and oil field, which have been inactive and shut-in since an oil spill in 1994. The PRC 421 Recommissioning Project (Project) proposes to resume oil and gas production of PRC 421.

The Project includes the following components:
• Well 421-2 would be recommissioned using an existing pier (Pier 421-2) located on Haskell’s Beach adjacent to and partially within the City of Goleta;
• Water and gas from crude oil emulsion extracted from Well 421-2 would be separated at the existing Ellwood Onshore Processing Facility (EOF) in the City of Goleta;
• An oil transport line and electrical/communication cables are required to support recommissioning and would connect the Pier 421-2 with the EOF;
• A second well (Well 421-1), which is located on an adjacent pier (Pier 421-1), would be decommissioned and removed;
• The estimated productive life of PRC 421 is a minimum of 20 years.

The Revised Draft EIR was in circulation in 2013. City staff submitted a public comment letter on the EIR. CSLC held a public hearing in early December and accepted written public comment through December 20. The Proposed Final EIR (FEIR) was released in January 2014, including responses to public comment. CSLC will be considering the FEIR and Project at a public hearing on April 23, 2014. If the FEIR is certified, CSLC may consider approval of the Project.

The CSLC has exclusive jurisdiction over approval of the Project. The City has no independent authority to grant or deny permission to resume oil and gas processing or to certify or decline to certify the FEIR. If Venoco receives the CSLC-required approvals for this project, the City will be required to process related permits for the portions of the project that take place within the City’s jurisdiction.

For more information, contact Eric Gillies at the CSLC at (916) 574-1897 or eric.gillies@slc.ca.gov. The EIR and additional information can be found here: www.slc.ca.gov .


In anticipation of the CSLC's hearing and in consideration of the fact that the City has limited decision making over the Project and related impacts, the City Council of the City of Goleta will be discussing the Project and considering the merits of a possible Settlement Agreement between the City and the applicant, Venoco, Inc.

CITY OF GOLETA PUBLIC MEETING - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
City of Goleta City Hall, Council Chambers
130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, Goleta, CA 93117

This proposed Agreement provides for the final and permanent closure of the last remaining oil and gas production piers in coastal California. It provides a strong first step towards fulfilling the City’s stated land use goals and policies that support and promote the discontinuation of all onshore oil and gas processing facilities within the City. The proposed Agreement would only take affect if the CSLC approves the Project. The Agreement does not bind the City to the issuance of any permits.


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