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Pacific summary report 2: A revision of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities in the Pacific (Southern California) and their onshore impacts: A summary report, May 1980

January 1, 1982

The Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is an established hydrocarbon-producing region. Oil and gas have been produced from the Santa Barbara Channel (both State and Federal acreage) since 1896. Almost 77,000 barrels of oil are produced from the California Federal OCS each day as of December 1981, and leases on State tidelands produce about 40,000 barrels of oil per day. This highly developed area is, of course, but a small part of the Pacific OCS, which also includes Northern California, Washington, and Oregon. The petroleum industry has expressed interest in exploring frontier areas, and as frontier acreage is offered in future lease sales, exploration, development, and production may move out into deeper water. The technology is currently being developed and tested to allow deepwater exploration.

To date, offshore drilling operations have resulted in the delineation of 11 offshore oil and gas fields and 2 gas fields in the Southern California OCS. A recent discovery off Point Arguello, California, may lead to delineation of a new field. Reserve estimates have been made for the known fields in the region. Remaining recoverable reserves are estimated at 787 million barrels of oil and over 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas as of December 31, 1980. Estimates of undiscovered recoverable resources in the offshore Santa Maria Basin and Southern California OCS are over 3.5 billion barrels of oil and in excess of 5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

To date, there have been seven oil and gas lease sales in the Pacific OCS Region. An average of one lease sale per year is scheduled through 1985. Industry interest indicates that the Santa Barbara Channel's potential has not yet been fully explored, and some basins to the south, as well as in the Santa Maria Basin, are now gaining considerable interest. Future exploratory activity in the San Pedro Bay and the Santa Maria Basin is likely to increase.

Exploration, development, and production in the Pacific OCS Region are increasing at a moderate pace.

Pipelines continue to be the preferred mode of transporting Pacific OCS hydrocarbons to shore. The State and the Federal Governments have expressed a commitment to the use of pipelines where possible and economically feasible. Tankers traveling in the Pacific and entering California ports carry, for the most part, imported oil. The region is active in OCS transportation planning; the Bureau of Land Management works through the Pacific States Regional Technical Working Group Committee. Onshore, the Petroleum Transportation Committee (formerly the Joint Government/Industry Pipeline Working Group) is evaluating a number of transportation scenarios.

The nearshore and onshore petroleum processing facilities in the Pacific Region service onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production, as well as the international oil market. Many of the onshore facilities have been in operation for years, supporting California's extensive onshore and offshore production. Several new facilities have been proposed, are currently under construction, or have recently opened. Shell Oil opened a crude oil distribution facility near Long Beach in December 1980. Operations began at Union Oil's Mandalay Beach separation and treatment plant in December 1981. The Pacific Offshore Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of the Pacific Lighting Corporation, is planning to build a gas treatment plant at Las Flores Canyon; completion of this project is scheduled for July 1983. It is expected that these new facilities, in addition to the established plants, will be able to accommodate any new OCS production in the near term from previously leased areas.

Publication Year 1982
Title Pacific summary report 2: A revision of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities in the Pacific (Southern California) and their onshore impacts: A summary report, May 1980
DOI 10.3133/ofr8221
Authors Karen M. Collins, Catherine A. McCord, Anne Stadnychenko, Peter Yoskin
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 82-21
Index ID ofr8221
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse