No Oil Agreement With Exxon, Vandenberg Says

Seeming Boon for Competitor’s Tranquillon Ridge Drilling Proposal

Vandenberg Air Force Base officials notified the county energy department this week that they have no agreement to allow Exxon Mobil to locate a slant drilling operation on air force property, and that they’d open the base up to competitive bids from other oil companies before they’d sign an agreement with any one company. This announcement came as good new for Houston based oil operator the Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP), which recently got county planning commission approval for its Tranquillon Ridge proposal, located in state waters off the coast of Pt. Concepcion. Exxon had opposed the project, arguing that its slant drilling proposal from Vandenberg - which also would have tapped into the Tranquillon Ridge oil fields -would be more lucrative for the county, and more environmentally sensitive. PXP won commission approval with strong backing from the South Coast environmental establishment by making a number of concessions typically resisted by oil operators.

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