Oil Well Capping and Rincon Island Cleanup

Source: Heal the Ocean


Anyone going by Summerland’s Lookout Park will see all manner of heavy oil construction equipment taking up the park as well as the beach in Summerland, because the State Lands Commission, has moved in, to begin the capping of the leaking beach well called Ohlsson 850.

The heavy construction equipment is accessing the beach via the Wallace Avenue access, while spill response equipment and trained personnel will be staged in the Lookout Park parking lot during the activity as a precautionary measure. Ohlsson 850 is at the west end of Summerland Beach.

SLC engineers InterAct will supervise construction work, which will begin at low tide tonight, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, and continue on through this week, until July 25th. Leading up to this project, HTO Field Engineer Harry Rabin has been working with InterAct to pinpoint the exact location of the well.

Ohlsson 805 exposed. Photo by Steve Curran.



Rincon Island Before & After. Photos by Harry Rabin.

Heal the Ocean field Advisor Harry Rabin also reports that the State Lands Commission (SLC) decommissioning of the Rincon Island oil installation is complete, and reports that over 50 wells have been successfully abandoned on the island, capped and sealed in concrete. The causeway from the Ventura shoreline to the island, visible to drivers traveling the 101 Freeway, has also been rebuilt and repaired at a cost of over $3 million.

Rabin, who did underwater and topside monitoring of the island during the multi-year decommissioning, says the islands are “ready to become a new home for ocean education, outreach, research, environmental studies” which is what he is advocating. Heal the Ocean likes that idea, too!

Click here to see Harry’s drone footage of Rincon Island.


HTO Field Advisor Harry Rabin was on the scene last night (July 21, 2021) and provides these photos of State Lands Commission contractors excavating, and capping the Ohlssen 805 well at the west end of Summerland Beach. Harry, who stayed on scene until 3 a.m., said the workers reached the “blue clay” layer (where hydrocarbons can’t escape) very fast and got the well cemented. Today (Thursday, July 22, 2021), the contractors will cut the top of the pipe, cap it, and finish it off in the next few days.

Photos by Harry Rabin.


Written by healtheocean

Heal the Ocean focuses on wastewater infrastructure – sewers and septic systems – as well as ocean dumping practices that have contributed to ocean pollution. They are focused on Santa Barbara County, but their methods now serve as a model for other coastal communities across the country. Learn more at https://www.healtheocean.org/

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