MAP: Where oil runs in Santa Barbara

Have you ever wondered what oil pipelines run through Santa Barbara County? If so, then you might like this handy map:

Energy Division Map Santa Barbara
This 2016 map shows the main pipelines that run throughout the county. Hundreds of smaller pipelines carrying oil, natural gas, wastewater and other materials riddle the underground as well. (Click to enlarge)

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The county’s longest line, Plains All-American Pipeline, has two segments. Line 901 stretches from Las Flores to Gaviota. Line 903 shoots north from Gaviota to Pentland Station in Kern County. These two lines span roughly 130 miles.
  • Line 901 ruptured and leaked last year, causing the Refugio Oil Spill. Reports found that the pipeline was severely corroded, causing the rupture.
  • Venoco Line 96 connects Venoco’s oil refinery in Ellwood to Plain’s Line 901 in Las Flores.
  • Platform Holly as seen from Devereux Lagoon in Goleta, Santa Barbara.

    Line 901 was shut down after last year’s spill and remains inoperable. Since then, seven off-shore oil platforms have been shut down. They include (from north to south): Hidalgo, Harvest, Hermosa, Heritage, Harmony, Hondo and Holly.

  • The minimum depth for oil pipelines running under agricultural areas is three feet, while the minimum for lines under water bodies is four feet.
  • The corrosion that led to the rupture and leak of Line 901. (Bruce Reitherman/Santa Barbara County)

    At the leak site, Line 901 was covered by about 4.5 feet of soil.

  • Most of the pipelines that run through the county are intrastate lines – meaning they stay within the state. These pipelines are inspected and regulated by the State Fire Marshal. Interstate lines, which run across state borders, are regulated by The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
  • Plains All-American Pipeline was meant to run interstate to Texas, but it was completed as an intrastate line.
  • PHMSA currently oversees the pipeline. However, the State Fire Marshal is in talks with PHMSA to obtain oversight.

Join us Tuesday, June 14th

KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian will lead a live-radio discussion at Santa Barbara’s Center Stage Theater. He’ll talk with local environmental and oil experts about major issues like fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel, natural seepage and the future of oil production along the Central Coast. RSVP for free tickets here.