Thursday, April 27, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 40

Weekly Poll
Should oil companies be allowed to drill off the coast in SLO County?

Who are we to stand in the way of a company's profits? Drill away!
Yes but we should be sensitive to environmental concerns and only allow a few drilling operations.
No. It's environmentally destructive and the costs of a spill would be disastrous for SLO County.
No. I'd hate to see the view from our beaches spoiled by ugly oil platforms.

Vote! | Poll Results

RSS Feeds

Latest News RSS
Current Issue RSS

Special Features
Search or post SLO County food and wine establishments

New Times / News

The following article was posted on May 15th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 42 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [] - Volume 27, Issue 42

Double the drilling proposed in Price Canyon


The owners of the oil field between Pismo Beach and Edna Valley want to add 350 new oil wells and ramp up full-capacity production by almost double—from 5,000 to 9,000 barrels per day. Though the proposed expansion in Price Canyon is still in the early planning stages, this would be the fifth phase of development on the site by Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP). No hydraulic fracking is proposed.

The company applied for a permit in late 2012, and the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department commissioned an initial study of the project’s potential effects, noting that significant impacts were expected in regard to aesthetics, air quality, wildlife, noise, and driving conditions. On May 14, the SLO County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Marine Research Specialists, Inc. to perform a full-fledged Environmental Impact Report, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The contract appeared on the supervisors’ consent calendar and wasn’t discussed at the meeting.

According to a staff report, the review is expected to cost just less than $354,000 with optional peer tasks, hearings, and meetings bringing the total bill to roughly $476,500. PXP will eventually reimburse the county through administrative processing fees.

The site’s current operation includes nearly 100 active producing wells and 40 injector wells. Though PXP is authorized to produce 5,000 barrels per day, many approved wells remain undrilled, and actual production levels hover around 1,000 barrels per day. The oil is trucked to the Conoco Phillips Battles pump station in Santa Maria.

Historically, the company has been limited to drilling 37 new wells per year, which means the proposed expansion would take 10 years to complete. According to the initial study, two 60-foot drilling rigs will be visible from public roads throughout the development, and work crews with heavy equipment will likely interrupt traffic. The construction of new access roads and well pads will require an estimated 1,650 oak trees and 1,200 manzanitas to be cut down.