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Overhead View of Venoco's Ellwood Oil and
Gas Processing Facility and Marine Terminal, respectively


An ongoing project consisting of an offshore platform (Holly) that produces oil and gas from the South Ellwood field. Pipelines are used to transport oil and gas produced offshore to onshore processing and storage facilities. Crude oil is pumped into storage tanks prior to being loaded onto a barge for shipment to refineries out of the County. Natural gas is distributed by pipeline to the Southern California Gas Company.


Offshore Facilities

Platform Holly

  • Year Installed: 1965
  • Water Depth: 211 feet
  • Deck Weight: NA
  • Total Weight: 7,500 tons
  • Fabricated: Bayou Boeut, Louisiana
  • Number of Wells Slots: 30
  • Distance from Land: 2 miles

Photo provided by the Minerals Management Service


  • 6-inch diameter wet oil from Platform Holly to Ellwood Oil & Gas Processing Facility (3 miles long)
  • 6-inch diameter wet gas from Platform Holly to Ellwood Oil & Gas Processing Facility (3 miles long)
  • 4-inch diameter utility pipeline from Platform Holly to Ellwood Oil & Gas Processing Facility (3 miles long)
  • 8-inch diameter oil from offshore seep tents to Ellwood Oil & Gas Processing Facility (3.5 miles long)

Onshore Facilities

Ellwood Oil & Gas Processing Facility

  • Plot Plan
  • Systems Flow Diagram

  • Site is located on 4.46 developed acres

  • Major Systems:
    • Oil-water separation
    • Oil treatment (hydrogen sulfide reduction)
    • Treatment and discharge of produced water
    • Treatment of raw gas:
      • Removal of sulfur
  • Design Capacities:
    • Dry oil output - 20,000 barrels per day (bpd)
    • Oil Storage - 6,000 barrels (bbl)
    • Produced water - 8,200 barrels of water per day (bwpd)
    • Natural Gas - 20,000 thousand cubic feet per day (MCSFD)

  • Permitted Capacities:
    • Dry oil output - 13,000 bpd
    • Oil Storage - 6,000 bbl
    • Produced water - 8,200 bwpd
    • Natural Gas - 13,000 MCSFD

Ellwood Marine Terminal

  • Site is located on 17 developed acres, part of a 170-acre UCSB parcel.

  • Major Systems:
    • Onshore storage and pumping facility
    • Offshore mooring terminal

  • Design Capacities:
    • Oil Storage - 130,000 bbl (and a dedicated offshore barge with 56,000 bbl capacity)
  • Permitted Capacities:
    • Oil Storage - 130,000 bbl
  • Offsite Pipelines:
    • 10-inch diameter (Line 96), then 6-inch diameter oil pipeline from Ellwood Onshore Facility to Ellwood Marine Terminal. Pipeline length is 3.7 miles.
    • 12-inch, then 10-inch, diameter pipeline from the onshore transfer pumps at the Ellwood Marine Terminal to the offshore loading connection.

Fields/Production History

South Elwood Field

  • Production Began 1966:

  • Oil Information:
    • Source: Rincon and Monterey Formations
    • Gravity: 22° API
    • Cumulative production through 2000: 60 million barrels (MMBL)
    • Estimated reserves as of 2000: 9.389 MMBL

  • Gas Information:
    • Source: Rincon and Monterey Formations
    • Cumulative production through 2000: 40 billion cubic feet (BCF)
    • Estimated reserves as of 2000: 6 BCF

Product Distribution

Crude oil and heavier Natural Gas Liquids

  • Distributed via pipeline to:
    • Storage tanks at the Ellwood Marine Terminal; then
    • From the Ellwood Marine Terminal to a barge-loading terminal; then
    • Onto the Jovalan, a dedicated barge; and then
    • Onto refineries at Los Angeles or San Francisco


Natural Gas

  • Distributed via pipeline

  • Distributed via pipeline to the Southern California Gas Company

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

  • Distributed via truck to Bakersfield


  • Distributed via truck to Lost Hills

Past Activities

  • The Ellwood Marine Terminal was constructed in 1929 by Burmah.
  • The leases (3120 and 3242) from which Platform Holly extracts oil and gas were granted in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
  • The Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) and Platform Holly were built between 1965 and 1967 by ARCO and Mobil.
  • The EOF was expanded in 1978 for processing sour gas.
  • Mobil took over Holly-Ellwood operations in 1993 from ARCO, and then Venoco took over the operations in 1997.

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