Venoco Bankruptcy Update
On April 17, 2017, Venoco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and provided documents to the California State Lands Commission quitclaiming its interests in the South Ellwood Field leases, including Platform Holly and the Ellwood Beach pier leases (Lease 421) offshore the City of Goleta.
While production at Platform Holly was already shut in due to the Plains Pipeline spill in 2015, quitclaiming of the leases effectively ends commercial oil and gas production in the Goleta area and returns operational control of these assets to the State Lands Commission. California's Coastal Sanctuary Act prohibits the Commission from issuing new offshore oil and gas leases. The Commission will now begin the process of decommissioning Platform Holly. Disposition of the related assets including the Ellwood Onshore Facility and the Lease 421 piers located in the City of Goleta and the Ellwood Marine Terminal and Line 96 located in the County of Santa Barbara has yet to be determined.
The State Lands Commission will ensure that the wells and facilities on Platform Holly are secured and maintained while it develops a plan, in coordination with local and State regulatory agencies, to efficiently and safely address the disposition of the wells, platform and Lease 421 piers. The process for decommissioning the facilities and plugging and abandoning the approximately 32 wells on State property will be expensive, complex, and lengthy. The Commission is dedicated to a robust, transparent, and collaborative process with the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara County and other local communities and stakeholders in developing a decommissioning plan. Protecting public health and safety and the marine environment is paramount.
For more information, please visit the California State Lands Commission website.