Venoco’s Platform Holly Oil Expansion Scheme

  • Goal: To prevent the first new or expanded oil lease offshore CA since the 1969 Oil Spill
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Clients Get Oil Out!, Sierra Club, Los Padres Chapter, Citizens Planning Association

After almost two decades of fighting three separate proposals by Venoco to expand oil drilling from Platform Holly, EDC and our clients succeeded in stopping this dangerous threat. (We defeated similar proposals by ARCO in the 1980s and Mobil in the 1990s.)

Platform Holly has stood off the coast of UCSB and Ellwood Mesa for more than 50 years. In April, 2017, Venoco announced to the State Lands Commission that as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, it was giving up its leases. This means that in the not too distant future, our coastal horizon will be free of the massive Platform Holly, and the Santa Barbara Channel and surrounding communities will no longer be at risk of spills and other toxic failures from the platform. The associated Ellwood Onshore Facility, that was used for processing Holly’s oil and gas, will also be shut down and removed.

EDC and our clients have worked since at least 2001 against the controversial Venoco project, which would have allowed Venoco to slant drill more than four miles into the California Coastal Sanctuary. At various times, the oil company used Platform Holly for acid well stimulation (acidizing), using a blend of highly toxic chemicals to break down the rock formations.

Platform Holly will be decommissioned and the Ellwood Onshore Facility will likely be closed and begin to transition to an area for public recreation as it is zoned to be.  EDC will work on behalf of our clients and the community to make sure that all of Venoco’s facilities are completely removed, and the environment is restored to a natural, safe condition.


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