Gaviota Oil Terminal
Site Assessment Report prepared for the GTC Site
A Supplemental Site Assessment Report for the site was completed in May 2012. This report included the Gaviota oil terminal site as well as areas owned by adjacent operators, Plains Pipeline L.P., and ARCO Alegria. This information will be used to determine the extent of site contamination for development of a site remedial action plan for all three company sites. Once a remedial plan is identified, additional environmental review will be conducted and the Demolition and Restoration (D&R) permit issued for the Gaviota Terminal Company site will be modified.
- A Soil Sampling Site Assessment Report dated August 30, 2010 was submitted to the County. Upon review of the report, it was determined that additional soil and groundwater sampling is necessary to fully identify the vertical and lateral extent of site contamination. The August 30 report did identify that the primary contaminant constituent at the site is petroleum hydrocarbons, an expected finding due to the site’s 100 year history serving oil and gas operations. Shell’s consultant URS is preparing a supplemental Site Assessment Plan and once approvals are gained from the County, will return to the site in the first quarter of 2011 to resume sampling. Once the sampling is complete, URS will begin preparing its recommendations for site restoration.
An onshore crude oil storage facility
consisting of six tanks.
The Gaviota Oil Terminal is located on the ocean side of Highway
101 opposite the Gaviota Oil & Gas Processing Facility.
Shell Pipeline Company, LP Location
Overhead View of the Gaviota Oil Terminal
- Tank Farm
- Located on approximately 42 acres
- Six onsite storage tanks
- 670,500 barrel
storage capacity (all six tanks)
- Fire water storage tank
has 80,000 barrel capacity
- Idled tanks
have been purged of all hydrocarbons and are open to
- 24-inch diameter onshore oil pipeline
- Crude Oil (from Arguello, Inc.)
- Distributed via pipeline to the Gaviota Oil
Terminal for product for storage; then pumped to the 24-inch
diameter portion of the All American Pipeline
- The first petroleum-related facilities
date back to 1896 when the Alcatraz
Asphaltium Company erected an asphalt
processing plant and a deep-water
wharf. The processed asphalt was then
shipped by railroad or marine vessel
to local markets.
- In 1904, the National Oil and Transportation Company acquired
the plant and converted it into a 3,000 barrel per day (BPD) crude
oil refinery to handle oil from the Santa Maria oil field. Later
the refinery was taken over by the Associated Oil Company, who
operated the facility until 1920.
- In 1950, the original Gaviota site facilities were completely
dismantled (including the original wharf), and in its place a
modern marine terminal was constructed. Dual 12-inch pipelines
were installed to a distance of 2,400 feet from shore for the
loading of crude oil tankers. Mooring facilities consisted of
five 16,500 pound anchors marked with mooring buoys.
- Until 1969, the offshore marine terminal loaded offshore oil
produced in the western Santa Barbara Channel.
- From 1969 until 1987, the terminal
loaded only oil produced from onshore
wells and trucked to the site mostly
from Kern County.
- The Gaviota Oil Terminal was constructed in 1987 and began
operation in 1991 as an interim marine terminal.
- Since 1991, the facility served to store oil produced
from the Point Arguello field and oil processed at
the Gaviota Oil and Gas Facility; however, nearly all
oil is now transported to refinery centers via overland
- The facility shipped oil via the marine terminal for less than
- Texaco suspended loading of marine
tankers at the Gaviota Oil Terminal
in 1994, and subsequently abandoned
the offshore pipeline and marine tanker
mooring in 1998.
- Effective May 1, 2002, Shell Pipeline Company became the successor
to Equilon’s interest in the GTC partnership. In December
2002, the County approved Shell Pipeline Company as the new operator.
- GTC permanently ceased operations
and evacuated all oil from the site
as of the third quarter of 2005. The
operator applied to the County for
a Demolition and Reclamation Permit
in May of 2006. Meanwhile, the County
has initiated a rezone of the site
from Coastal-Dependent Industry to