The Ellwood Onshore Facility remains tied up in Venoco's bankruptcy as a chief asset, but it is part of an agreement between the City of Goleta and the State Lands Commission for regulatory authority of the Ellwood Field.

Next Thursday, November 15, Goleta will host the State Lands Commission in a discussion of what’s current at Platform Holly and Piers 421, two sets of wells going dormant in the wake of Venoco’s 2017 bankruptcy. Hopes that State Lands would also control the Ellwood Onshore Facility have been challenged by the bankruptcy trustee, who alleges inverse condemnation for State Lands’ current operation of the EOF, because State Lands will not pay for its management of the facility.

“The presence of the State at the EOF … is absolutely critical to ensuring the health and safety of the local citizenry and the protection of the local terrestrial and marine environment from potential releases of oil and hydrogen sulfide gas,” State Lands director Jennifer Lucchesi told commissioners in October. “[It] is an appropriate exercise of the police power inherent to the State. The Commission staff intends to remain in control of the EOF until all the wells are safely plugged and abandoned.”

The meeting takes place at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, 6-8 p.m., Thursday, November 15.


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