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Closing Platform Holly Discussion on Thursday

Platform Holly | Credit: Paul Wellman File

The State Lands Commission arrives in Goleta on Thursday to talk about the closure of Platform Holly and the two Venoco wells at Pier 421, just below Sandpiper Golf Club. It’s the fourth of the commission’s reports to the public to discuss Venoco’s properties post-bankruptcy, and staffers will be on hand to answer questions and concerns, and also to discuss the oil release on May 28.

State Lands took control of Venoco’s assets in the Ellwood oil field after the Denver-based company quitclaimed some of its properties to the state and declared bankruptcy in April 2017. When it bought rights to the field from Mobil Oil Company in 1997, Venoco had posted a $22 million bond against its potential abandonment; last May’s estimated cost to the State of California to shut everything down was $348 million.

Still on the table is the fate of the Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF), which sits next door to the Bacara Resort at Haskell’s Beach. Venoco’s bankruptcy trustee had been trying to sell the EOF, and State Lands had been using it to process oil coming ashore as part of the plugging and abandoning of the oil wells. Currently, a dispute is in the courts over payments to the Venoco estate for use of the EOF by the state.

The meeting about the Platform Holly and Pier 421 decommissioning takes place at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive #B, Thursday, June 27, 5-8 p.m.

Correction: The June 27, 2019, meeting is the fourth, not the second, Town Hall that State Lands has held about Venoco in Goleta.

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