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Venoco shuts down oil operations to comply with bankruptcy

Venoco, LLC announced Monday that it has filed for bankruptcy and its assets are to be sold or wound down through the bankruptcy process.

“Today’s filing is the result of unfortunate circumstances impacting the company’s financial strength, including the ongoing closure of Plains All American Pipeline’s Line 901,” said Mike Wracher, Venoco’s COO. “We have pursued a number of market-based and regulatory solutions to address these challenges during the last year. Despite these considerable efforts, our financial position now compels us to take this action.”

Venoco filed the bankruptcy petition in 2016. It notified the California State Lands Commission last week regarding its incapability of meeting the terms and obligations for the South Ellwood Field leases, including Platform Holly and the Goleta Beach Pier leases.

On Monday, Venoco quitclaimed its interests in Platform Holly and the Goleta Beach Pier leases which would end commercial oil and gas production within state waters. This leaves 85.1 million barrels of recoverable oil in the ground.

Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte released the following statement regarding Venoco’s bankruptcy and quitclaim.

“The quitclaim is a positive development for the Goleta community and all of us who look forward to the restoration of our coastline. The City’s paramount concern has been and will continue to be the public health and safety of our community and our residents. Our city council and staff look forward to working with California’s State Lands Commission and other agencies on the decommissioning of these facilities. We will keep the public fully informed as more details become available.”

On May 19, 2015, the underground pipeline that transports oil produced from Platform Holly ruptured causing the Refugio Oil Spill. The pipeline remained closed which created a loss for Venoco.

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