Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Rincon Island decommissioning

Rincon Island, an oil facility off the coast of Ventura County, is being decommissioned by the state. 



State of California officials say they’ve reached a milestone in the state’s transition away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.

On Feb. 4, the State Lands Commission and the Department of Conservation’s California Geological Energy Management Division announced they’ve plugged and abandoned all 50 oil wells on Rincon Island, a small 2.3-acre artificial island off Mussel Shoals in Ventura County.

Rincon Island is one of a handful of remaining offshore oil structures in state waters, stated the agencies, which also announced the plugging and abandonment of all 24 state onshore production wells, and two additional onshore wells that were not part of state lease operations but had been deserted.

The state took responsibility for decommissioning Rincon in 2017, after the operator declared bankruptcy. It plugged and abandoned the 74 wells ahead of schedule, under budget and without incident or spillage, the Commission stated in a news release.

Plugging and abandoning the wells is the main component of phase one of a three-phase process that includes developing and executing a decommissioning plan. Work on the plan will include extensive public outreach and engagement, according to the Commission.

The remaining phase one work, underway now, consists of site clearance activities to remove decrepit oil production infrastructure and should be completed by June 2021, officials said.

For more information on the Rincon Island decommissioning status and the next steps in the process, visit www.slc.ca.gov/oil-and-gas/rincon-island/.

(article from Ojai Valley News: rincon-island-oil-wells-unplugged

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Surfers' Point erosion damage Jan 2021


During the first week of February, 2021, the barriers along the eroding coastal path at the Ventura County Fairgrounds were moved back for public safety.  Several more parking spaces have been eliminated as the ocean continues to take back the beach.  

Erosion undermines the bke path,  Jan 13, 2021

This year's damage was more than anticipated, as relatively calm conditions were predicted with "La Nina" conditions dominating the Pacific Ocean.  However, an anomalous storm track developed producing a series of large swell events during the entire month of January, some coinciding with the year's highest tides.  Good for surfers, bad for beachfront property managers.

9 am January 14, 2021
(high tide 6.36 ft @ 9:30 am)

Large swell at Surfers Point, Jan 18, 2021

The final design for "Managed Shoreline Retreat" has been completed, but the process appears to be on hold.   Un-managed retreat continues... Fencing, concrete curb, and asphalt litter the shoreline along the most popular beach in Ventura County.

Overview looking east from the restored beach toward the eroding parking lot
slated for relocation in Phase 2 of the Managed Retreat project

Overview of Surfers' Point looking west - the parking lot in the foreground 
would be relocated out of harms way in Phase 2 of the Managed Shoreline Retreat project 

Artist rendition of the proposed Surfers Point Managed Shoreline Retreat project

Surfers' Point Managed Retreat Phase 1 - Jan 13, 2021
Phase 1 of the project continues to demonstrate resiliency to high surf
(note high tide line and exposed cobble berm)

Update from the City of Ventura:  
The City helped the Fairgrounds remove part of the wood fence, dig out the landscape area, pave the planting or parking area level with the path, and move the temporary fence over for some extra clearance from the eroded area. A few parking spaces had to be taken out to make it safe for pedestrians to pass. The hope is that this is enough to last through the summer, however that is weather dependent.
The City also reapplied for State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways – Public Beach Restoration Grant in the amount of $5.5M last month. This includes the beach side of the $10.1M estimate but not the new paved parking lot, lighting, and other amenities.

On this blog: 

Winter 2021 swells: