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ARCO - Dos Pueblos

ARCO Dos Pueblos pipeline abandonment route
click here to view a larger image

What's New

The ARCO Dos Pueblos Pipeline Removal Project was completed in November 2011. The project removed 14 power poles, 60 tons of concrete structures, and 13,185 linear feet (70 tons) of pipeline with all 70 tons of pipeline recycled. Re-vegetation and restoration of the areas impacted by the pipeline removal activities is underway.


This site once housed facilities that produced and processed oil and gas from the Elwood field. Production ceased in 1997 when wells were plugged and abandoned, and the site's facilities were removed as part of the ARCO Dos Pueblos Golf Links project. The removal of the pipeline is the final step in Phase I, the remediation stage, of the projectas part of the ARCO Dos Pueblos Golf Links project.


The ARCO Dos Pueblos pipeline removal project will take place on the Eagle Canyon Ranch bluff top on the ocean-side of U.S. 101, approximately 1.5 miles west of the Winchester Canyon exit, and in Tecolote and Bell creek drainages to the east. The project is bounded on the west by Eagle Canyon Creek, on the east by the Venoco EOF, and on the north by U.S.101.

Gas and Facilities Map
Arco-Dos Pueblos Map
Arco-Dos Pueblos Overhead View
Overhead View of the General Location of ARCO's Dos Pueblos Golf Links Project

Cleanup Activities

  • Phase 1-B and Phase 2 - CDP Appeal to CCC

The proposed Dos Pueblos Golf Links project site encompasses approximately 208 acres and is located on the coastal bluff 5 miles west of Goleta in the County of Santa Barbara. The project site was used for oil and gas development and production by ARCO from 1928 through 1997. A Remedial Action Plan, developed and to be implemented by ARCO, cites 6,141 square feet of petroleum hydrocarbon and mercury impacted soils to be removed prior to construction of the golf course (Phase 2). The Energy Division is awaiting the filing of an updated Remedial Action Plan from ARCO to complete Phase 1. The Coastal Development Permit issued by the County granting construction of the golf course was appealed to the California Coastal Commission by The Surfrider Foundation and the Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) in January 1999 and again in 2002.

  • Phase 1-C - Offsite Pipeline Abandonment

In 1996, Arco removed all surface equipment appurtenant to historic oil processing on the Dos Pueblos site. However, pipelines remain in place that historically delivered crude oil produced on the Dos Pueblos property to the Ellwood Oil and Gas Processing Plant, currently owned and operated by Venoco. The pipelines extend approximately 1/3 mile, traversing private properties and creek channels, including: Eagle Canyon Ranch, Bacara Resort, Tecolote and Bell Creeks.

The pipelines and equipment to be removed include:

  • The remaining above-ground portions of a 6-inch diameter former crude oil transport pipeline running from Dos Pueblos (Makar) property to Bell Creek.
  • An abandoned pipeline bundle (5 lines) and associated concrete, metal, and wood pipe supports remaining on the Dos Pueblos property (a distance of approximately 300 feet), Eagle Canyon Ranch (approximately 1/3 mile), and across Eagle Canyon Creek (two metal supports atop wooden beams).
  • The remaining above ground portions of a 6-inch diameter former crude oil transport pipeline from Dos Pueblos to Tecolote Creek (located in the City of Goleta),
  • A triplex pump, skid and associated piping near the south end of the Venoco Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) located at 7979 Hollister Avenue (located in the City of Goleta).
  • An old hydrogen sulfide (H2S) alarm panel immediately west of the EOF near the access to Bell Creek (located in the City of Goleta).

The pipelines and equipment to be abandoned in place are:

  • Buried segments of the abandoned pipeline outside of the immediate channel of Tecolote Creek (located in the City of Goleta).
  • Approximately 800 feet of pipeline that parallels the road west of the EOF fence line, this section will be removed when the EOF is removed (located in the City of Goleta)
  • Portion of the O-3 pipeline suspended over Bell Creek and associated concrete supports, this section will be removed when the EOF is removed (located in the City of Goleta). 

Past Activities

  • Oil and gas processing activity commenced at the ARCO Dos Pueblos Site in the 1920s and ceased in 1997.
  • Arco produced oil and gas from State Leases 208 and 129. The operation consisted of 38 wells between the two leases as well as a tank farm area including six tanks and various equipment; a sales gas and compressor area; sulfacheck area; a gas/chiller knockout area; and numerous pipelines.
  • Formerly, fluids from producing wells were transported via a lateral pipeline system to the tank farm where oil, water, and gas were separated. Oil was routed through a 6-inch pipeline to ARCO's Ellwood Facility (presently Venoco's EOF) onto Arco's Elwood Marine Terminal (presently Venoco's EMT). The oil was ultimately barged to local refineries.
  • The Arco oil/gas processing site was originally zoned for use by coastal dependent industry, but was rezoned for agricultural uses in 1991. The rezone converted the Arco oil and gas processing site into a legal non-conforming use with the adoption of the County's South Coast Consolidation Planning Area Policy.
  • Following the 1991 Rezone, Arco applied for a Conditional Use Permit to abandon the oil and gas facilities and construct a golf course. An Environmental Impact Report was prepared and the Conditional Use Permit was issued on August 17, 1993.
  • The Surfrider Foundation appealed the County's approval of the permit to the Coastal Commission, and the Commission approved the project in February 1995 with a few modifications.
  • Abandonment of the oil and gas facilities was subsequently divided into phases. Phase 1(a) involved abandoning the non-producing wells and removing above ground equipment. Phase 1(b) consisted of the abandonment of the remaining wells, onsite pipelines, tanks, buildings, and completion of a site assessment. Phase 1(c) will consist of abandonment of all off-site pipelines related to the Dos Pueblos oil and gas field. Phase 2 comprises the construction of the Dos Pueblos Golf Links project.
    The Energy Division issued coastal development permits authorizing Phases 1(a) and (b) and Phase 2. Phase 1(c) is currently undergoing environmental review. Arco completed Phase 1(a) and components of Phase 1(b), though all of Phase 1(c) and Phase 2 remain.
  • The Surfrider Foundation and the Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) appealed County permits to the California Coastal Commission in January 1999.
  • ARCO’s application for a Demolition and Reclamation Permit has been found complete. The permit application proposes to remove the portion of the abandoned pipelines running from the former Dos Pueblos processing site to what is now the Venoco Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) remaining in 4 areas: Eagle Canyon Ranch, Eagle Canyon Creek, Tecolote Creek, and Bell Creek.

The County approved the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Demoliton and Reclamation permit for the pipeline removal on Feburary 19, 2010. 

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