LOS ANGELES -- A Southern California offshore oil platform will be decommissioned and its operator is seeking bankruptcy protection, nearly two years after the platform was idled when an onshore pipeline ruptured and spilled a massive amount of oil into the ocean, the state and company said Monday.
The State Lands Commission said it received documents from Venoco LLC relinquishing rights to the South Ellwood oil field leases in the Santa Barbara Channel northwest of Los Angeles, including Platform Holly and a pier in the city of Goleta.
Platform Holly has not produced since May 19, 2015, when an onshore underground line owned by Plains All American Pipeline spilled more than 120,000 gallons of crude into the ocean. The line, which transported oil produced by Holly, remains shut down and there is no estimate for when it might reopen.
Denver-based Venoco, which acquired the leases in 1997 from ExxonMobil, simultaneously announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and expects its assets to be sold. Most are in Southern California, except for an onshore field in Texas.