Santa Maria Energy Launches Innovative ‘Learn Together’ Q&A Website

The next phase in Santa Maria Energy’s highly successful Petroleum 101 education effort, LEARN TOGETHER demystifies the oil production process with its interactive question and answer format using both video and personalized text responses.

Nerissa Sugars, former KCOY-TV news anchor, is the host of several videos created for LEARN TOGETHER that take viewers to oil field sites and locations like the Laguna County Sanitation District. At Laguna Sanitation, District Manager Martin Wilder explains why they are working with Santa Maria Energy to create an 8-mile pipeline to bring reclaimed water directly to the project.

To answer the question, “How do you get your oil out of the ground, and is it fracking?” Sugars meets Santa Maria Energy Operations & Production Manager, Kevin Yung, at the project site for a tour and hands-on demonstration of the production process. Yung explains their methods of bringing the oil out of the ground and uses a sponge to show how steam is absorbed in diatomite rock and displaces the oil using a process other than fracking. “There is so much misperception about what we do,” explains Yung. “We hope the new website will take the mystery out of oil. We invite the community to ask the hard questions and get honest answers about one of our most valuable resources.”

In addition to the videos, the website highlights text questions input on-line from the public with answers from company representatives that explain how their project potentially affects everything from job creation to endangered species. Colored hexagons fill the screen with questions like, “What’s stopping you from shipping your oil overseas?” and “Will your project harm oak trees?” Anyone in Santa Barbara County can submit questions on the LEARN TOGETHER website, which are reviewed and answered by Santa Maria Energy team experts every week.

Santa Maria Energy encourages the community to log on and be a part of the discussion at Their project has been under the review of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission for the past three and a half years, including a full Environmental Impact Report, and will be considered for approval this month.


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