Hundreds of new oil wells could soon triple Santa Barbara County production

Environmental groups and local residents are sounding alarms that proposed drilling projects would triple onshore oil production in Santa Barbara County — to which the oil industry says, “What’s wrong with that?”

Three companies propose to add hundreds of new wells and associated pipelines to extract thick crude using thermally enhanced recovery — an energy-intensive process to recover heavy oils that can’t flow unless they are heated — and then truck the oil on rural roads and highways.

The projects would bring a new pulse of activity — along with tax revenue and risk of spills — to Cat Canyon Oil Field, a historic site of oil production up the road from Santa Maria into the rolling oak-covered Solomon Hills.

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Hundreds of new oil wells could soon triple Santa Barbara County production, by Monica Vaughn, San Luis Obispo Tribune, March 18, 2019.

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