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Emergency and Hazardous Incident Information

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Line 96 Leak 11/28/09

Updated 03/24/10

Post Date:12/03/2009 8:45 AM

On November 28, 2009 at approximately 1:00 a.m., Venoco Operators at the Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) detected a hydrocarbon smell and found that a pipeline commonly known as Line 96 was leaking oil at a valve vault located just north of the EOF fenceline. At the time the EOF Operators discovered the leak, it was estimated that 1 to 2 barrels of oil had leaked into a concrete vault box surrounding the valve vault. At approximately 1:05 a.m., the EOF Lead Operator shutdown the pipeline and tested the vault area with a portable gas detector. The vault was monitored hourly for any changes. At approximately 8:33 a.m., the pipeline was flushed with water to displace the oil, and a vacuum truck then removed all fluids from the vault box, which were estimated at 4 barrels. The vault box and pipeline were subsequently cleaned and a temporary clamp was installed. Repairs of the pipeline were completed under the jurisdiction of the California State Fire Marshall, the City, Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services.

The City’s Director of Planning and Environmental Services determined that the Venoco, Inc./Ellwood Pipeline, Inc. failed to properly notify the City in accordance with the Ellwood Onshore Facility’s Development Plan permit condition no. 159; hence, a Notice of Violation was issued. 

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