UPDATE: Site preparations were completed on Northstar 815 and work will resume this Friday through Sunday (11/27-11/29). The barge will be brought back so the dive crew can uncover the well and guide ring once again and be set to drive the pipe pile on Saturday. This will be followed by cementing, retrieval of the guide ring, and welding on the cap on Sunday. The Treadwell 10 well re-abandonment work is complete. The well leak has been fully stopped with the installation of the pipe pile, cement, and welded well cap.
Summerland NorthStar 815 and Treadwell 10 Well Re-Abandonment
The California State Lands Commission and its consultant, InterAct, will perform well re-abandonment (re-sealing) work on two leaking wells, known as NorthStar 815 and Treadwell 10 immediately offshore Summerland Beach using a barge, divers and heavy equipment. The wells are located roughly 130 ft. and 300 ft. offshore, respectively. Re-abandonment activities are an essential part of the Commission’s efforts to permanently stop the hydrocarbon source from leaking into surrounding waters and onto the beach. The legacy wells date back to the largely unregulated development of the Summerland Oil Field in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Work will be conducted from a derrick barge and a dive vessel anchored nearby. The dive crew will use jetting tools to fully expose the wellheads for abandonment. A pipe pile will be placed over each wellhead and then driven into the ocean floor into the impermeable bedrock to encapsulate the wellheads. Each pipe pile will be cleaned out and pumped full of cement. The cement will act as a barrier to migration of hydrocarbons. The final step is to weld on a steel plate to the top of the pipe pile. This will act as a secondary barrier to hydrocarbon migration.
As a precautionary measure, spill response equipment and trained personnel will be staged in the Lookout Park parking lot. Please note that natural oil seeps and potential leakage from other legacy wells in the area often cause oil sheen in the ocean waters and oiling of the beach.
Well re-abandonment operations are scheduled to begin on or about November 1 and conclude two weeks thereafter.
Though the NorthStar and Treadwell wells are no longer in production, they regularly leak oil in small quantities. The wells are roughly 100 years old and must be re-abandoned to prevent ongoing leakage. It is in the best interest of the state, the public, and the environment to seal the wells and keep our beaches clean.
Thank You for Your Understanding and Cooperation!
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Sheri Pemberton, Chief, External Affairs & PIO
California State Lands Commission
Sheri.Pemberton@slc.ca.gov | 916.477.0691