PXP Pt. Arguello
Gaviota Oil Heating Facility (foreground)
Gaviota Oil Terminal (background)
Gas Flare Replacement
PXP plans to replace the existing 165-foot gas flare stack at the Gaviota facility with a smaller stack. PXP had initially planned to replace the flare during late 2008, but is now re-assessing the design of the new flare to ensure it will accommodate current and future needs. This project is currently on hold.
Processing Facility Partial Abandonment
- This project is being conducted in three phases. Phase 1 (completed) has reduced the visual profile of the facility by taking down the tallest items of equipment that are most visible from Highway 101. Phase 2, almost completed, will remove all saleable process equipment. During Phase 3 (approximately 10 months in duration), the remainder of the excess process equipment will be removed from the site.
- Most of the equipment has been sold and removed at this time. Work is currently underway to clean, disconnect, and transport the last remaining items to buyers. The tower, the propane and butane bullets, the LASP and siren systems on Hollister Ranch, and most of the Gaviota Gas Plant have been removed
- All required permits for all phases of the project have been issued..
- The System Safety and Reliability Review Committee (SSRRC) conducted a safety audit at the Gaviota Facility on September 23, 2009. No priority 1or 2 items were identified. PXP has completed 27 of the 30 items identified for correction. Efforts to implement the remaining 2 items are ongoing according to priority timelines established by the SSRRC.
An ongoing project consisting of three offshore platforms (Hermosa,
Harvest and Hidalgo) that produce and process oil and gas from the
Offshore field. Pipelines are used to transport oil and gas
produced and processed offshore to onshore terminal facilities.
These facilities use the sales quality gas to generate electricity
and steam for use onsite. Excess electricity can be sold to the
public utility grid. The processed crude oil is pumped into the
All American pipeline.
- The Gaviota Oil and Gas Processing Facility is located on the
mountain side of Highway 101 opposite the Shell Pipeline Company,
LP Gaviota Oil Terminal. It receives oil and gas from the Point
Arguello field west of Point Conception.
Overhead View of the Gaviota Oil & Gas Processing Facility
- Lease Location: OCS-P0316 (Point Arguello Unit)
- Year Installed: 1985
- Water Depth: 603 feet
- Deck Weight: 7,830 tons
- Total Weight: 28,131 tons
- Fabricated: Japan
- Number of Wells Slots: 48
- Distance from Land: 6.8
- Lease Location: OCS-P0315 (Point Arguello Unit)
- Year Installed: 1985
- Water Depth: 675 feet
- Deck Weight: 9,024 tons
- Total Weight: 30,190 tons
- Fabricated: Korea
- Number of Wells Slots: 50
- Distance from Land: 6.7 miles
- Lease Location: OCS-P0450 (Point Arguello Unit)
- Year Installed: 1986
- Water Depth: 430 feet
- Deck Weight: 8,100 tons
- Total Weight: 21,421 tons
- Fabricated: Japan
- Number of Wells Slots: 56
- Distance from Land: 5.9 miles
- 12-inch diameter wet
oil from Platform Harvest to Platform Hermosa (3.2 miles
- 8-inch diameter sour
gas from Platform Harvest to Platform Hermosa (3.2 miles
- 16-inch diameter oil from Platform Hidalgo to Platform
Hermosa (4.8 miles long)
- 10-inch diameter sour gas from Platform Hidalgo to Platform
Hermosa (4.8 miles long)
- 20-inch diameter sour gas from Platform Hermosa to Gaviota
Oil & Gas Processing Facility (10 miles long)
- 24-inch diameter wet oil from Platform Hermosa to Gaviota
Oil & Gas Processing Facility (10 miles long)
provided by the Minerals Management Service
- Oil-water separation; oil surge
and reject tanks (partially idled - used to heat incoming oil
- Treatment and discharge of produced
- Treatment of raw gas (idled), including
- Removal, storage, and shipment of sulfur
- Removal, separation, storage, and shipment of gas liquids
(e.g., propane, butane, heavier liquids)
- Seawater desalination (idled)
- Dry oil
output - 100,000 barrels per day (bpd)
- Oil Storage - 10,000 bbl (additional storage available at the
Gaviota Oil Terminal)
water - 25,000 barrels of water per day (bwpd)
Gas - 75 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD)
Electricity - 18.5 megawatts
- Dry oil output - 200,000 bpd
- Oil Storage - 10,000 bbl
- Produced water - 25,0000 bwpd
- Natural Gas - 75 MMCFD
- Cogenerated Electricity - 18.5 megawatts
Approximately 16 miles of the oil (Point Arguello Pipeline Company
- PAPCO) and gas (Point Arguello Natural Gas Line - PANGL) pipelines
that transport oil from the offshore platforms parallel the coast
from their landfall near Point Conception to the Gaviota Facility.
Fields Production History
Pt. Arguello Field
Production Began: 1991
- Source: Monterey
- Cumulative production through 2000: 71 billion cubic
- Percentage of total POCS gas landed in Santa Barbara County:
- Estimated reserves as of 2000: 85 BCF
- Distributed via pipeline, as follows:
- All oil produced is processed offshore on Platforms Harvest
and Hermosa; then
- Sent to shore for heating; then
- Sent to storage tanks at the Gaviota
Oil Terminal; then
- Transported in the Plains
- Distributed via pipeline
- Product Destination:
- Most of the gas produced is sweetened
offshore on Platforms Harvest and Hidalgo; then
- Sent to shore for use as Cogeneration Turbine fuel. Some
of the produced electricity is used to power the Gaviota Facility,
and the rest is sold to the Public Utility Grid.
- Electricity generated in excess of what is needed to power the
Gaviota facility is sold to the local utility grid.
- Each cogeneration turbines is capable of generating up to 3.7
Megawatts (MW) of power, with approximately 10 MW of excess power
available for sale to the local grid.
- The Coastal Development Permit for Phase 1 of the project was issued on November 13, 2003.
- On June 26, 2002, the Planning Commission approved a joint
application by Arguello, Inc. and ChevronTexaco to remove excess
equipment at the Gaviota Processing Facility. The equipment
is no longer necessary because the operator processes the crude
oil and gas offshore.
- Two of the four Point Arguello Unit tracts were leased in 1979
as part of lease sale 48 and the other two were leased in 1981
as part of lease sale 53.
- Arguello, Inc. began construction of the Gaviota Facility and
onshore pipelines in November of 1985 and was completed in December
- As originally designed and operated, the Gaviota Facility received
and gas from Platforms Hermosa, Harvest, and Hidalgo.
- The Gaviota Facility was reconfigured in 1998 to streamline
oil and gas processing activities and reduce costs. This reconfiguration
moved all processing functions offshore to Platform Hermosa.
- On February 21, 2001, the Director of Planning and Development
approved a request by Arguello Inc. to bring sweet gas to shore
to fuel electrical cogeneration turbines at its onshore facility
at Gaviota. Under the Gas Disposition Project, the gas is now
sweetened at the platforms and brought to shore in the existing
pipeline system to fuel up to three electrical cogeneration turbines
at the Gaviota facility.
- As designed and originally operated, the Gaviota Facility received
wet oil and gas
from Platforms Hermosa, Harvest, and Hidalgo. Wet oil and gas
was sent from the platforms to the facility in two separate lines.
- As designed, the product streams exiting the Gaviota Facility
- Sent offsite by truck and sold.
Water - Treated and injected into an onshore field or
discharged to the ocean.
- Sweetened Gas - Transported by pipeline and sold the Southern
California Gas Company.
- Liquid Propane
Gas is sent offsite by truck and sold.
- Oil, blended with butane and
natural gas liquids (NGLs)
is pumped to storage tanks at
the Gaviota Oil Terminal prior
to being pumped to market in the Plains Pipeline.
Lease E 451
- The Director of the Planning and Development Department approved the Lease 451 E Development project on September 3, 2003 with a Letter of Authority to Continue Operations under the existing Point Arguello permit.
- PXP Pt. Arguello developed Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lease 451 E by drilling 8 extended-reach wells from two of the three existing OCS platforms in the Point Arguello Unit. Five wells were drilled from Platform Hermosa and three from Platform Hidalgo.
- Development of the Lease 451 E oil reserves did not require any new equipment on the platforms, or at the Gaviota Facility. All of the wells were directionally drilled using existing well slots on the platforms.
- Drilling of the Lease 451 E wells lasted approximately 3 years and production should last approximately 8-10 years. Oil and gas processing currently occurs offshore at the existing platforms with the existing equipment. The produced oil is dehydrated, stabilized, and transported in existing pipelines to the Gaviota Facility, where it is heated and shipped by pipeline to refineries. Oil processing (dehydration and stabilization) capacity at the Point Arguello platforms is currently limited to a maximum of about 35,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).
- Gas is processed [sweetened to remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2)] and used for fuel in the offshore turbine generators of all three platforms. A portion of the gas sweetened on Platform Hermosa is transported to shore by pipeline for fuel needs at the Gaviota Facility and to produce electricity for sale. Excess gas, if any, will be reinjected offshore.
- Drilling and production are expected to end by 2011-2012, which will allow for the Lease 451 E reserves to be produced within the remaining productive life of the PXP Pt. Arguello platforms, which is estimated to be concluded by the year 2017.
Condition R-1 Review
- On October 16, 2001 the Board of Supervisors denied the appeals
of the Planning Commission's October 30, 2000 decision on the
Point Arguello Project Condition R-1 review process.
- Gaviota served as one of Santa Barbara
County's two designated consolidated
oil and gas processing sites for offshore
production along the South Coast.
- Condition R-1 of the Gaviota facility Final Development Plan
requires that the County hold a public hearing on the operating
status of the Gaviota facility if oil or gas processing throughput
falls below 3% of the maximum permitted throughput. In October
1998 the facility operator ceased sending sour gas to shore for
processing, triggering R-1 review.
- On October 30, 2000 the Planning Commission adopted Energy
Division staff's recommendations on the R-1 review. Staff had
prepared a programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
to evaluate possible future operating scenarios for the Gaviota
facility, including full project abandonment.
- Based on the EIR analysis, staff recommended to the Planning
Commission a scenario that eliminates Gaviota as a consolidated
oil and gas processing facility and requires that the facility
operator abandon all unused portions of the facility. Staff further
recommended that Gaviota remain operational in its current reconfigured
status, whereby all oil and gas is processed offshore. Under this
scenario, Gaviota serves only as an oil heating and metering station,
and produces electricity from produced gas for utility sales from
its cogeneration turbines (see above). Other offshore producers
could gain access to the Gaviota facility for similar operations,
with the appropriate permits.
- Four appeals were filed on the Planning Commission's decision.
The appellants were Arguello Inc., the project owner/operator,
Samedan Oil Corporation, Nuevo Energy Company, and Harvest Oil
and Gas Company. Staff's recommendation was that the Board uphold
the Planning Commission's decision, with one modification. Staff
recommended that the Board endorse a new designation for the Gaviota
site that is a consolidated production area. Staff explained that
this new designation would allow the Harvest/Molino Gas Project
to pursue its existing permit as a legal conforming use and would
provide the County with ongoing control of the Gaviota site through
consolidated policy and zoning controls.
- The Board adopted staff's recommendations and further directed
staff to evaluate the potential risks associated with the treatment
of low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
gas within the proposed production area. This addition by the
Board was in response to Harvest Oil and Gas Company's concern
that its current sweet gas project at the Gaviota site (maximum
4 parts per million H2S) may experience slightly higher concentrations
of H2S than permitted.
- The Board's decision was only an initiation of the proposed
changes to County zoning codes and policies. Staff must now develop
specific zoning and policy language, conduct environmental review,
and present its recommendations to the Planning Commission. All
zoning and policy changes will eventually go before the Board,
and then must be approved by the Coastal Commission.
- Plains - Arguello submitted an application to extend the life of the Reconfiguration project on May 12, 2003. The original project was approved in 1998, and at the time Chevron (then the owner/operator) had stated that the Point Arguello Project would operate in this mode for a maximum of 5 years, or until 2003. However, Plains - Arguello, Inc. intends to operate the project until 2015 as originally stated in the 1984 EIR/EIS. The System Safety and Reliability Review Committee reviewed the project for potential impacts to Risk of Upset/Hazardous Materials. A Director’s Amendment to the existing permit for the Facility (85-DP-032) was approved in October 2003.
PXP/Arguello GTC Bypass Project
- Construction was completed at the PXP/Arguello Gaviota Oil Heating Facility Bypass Project including installation of new pumps, valves and new segments of pipe. As a result, the Gaviota Terminal has permanently ceased operations and is in the process of receiving approval for a Demoiltion and Reclamation permit from the County of Santa Barbara to decommission the Gaviota Terminal site.