I'm Emily O'Gorman, and I handle client services for Patch advertisers. Patch Advertising Manager Danielle Bracamonte recently connected with E&B Natural Resources about the Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project and this is what they had to say.
Q: What is the Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project that has been proposed by E&B Natural Resources?
The Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project is a proposal to access known offshore and onshore oil reserves within the jurisdiction of Hermosa Beach from a single, onshore location by utilizing the latest technology and operational advancements in oil recovery, including environmentally safe directional drilling.
Q: What is the current status of this proposed project?
E&B Natural Resources has filed a project application which was the next step in a settlement agreement between the City of Hermosa Beach and E&B. This application will enable the City to begin its public review process, which will include the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that addresses numerous issues including air and water quality, geology, hazards, aesthetics, noise, traffic, and parking. The approval process includes review by various local, regional, and state agencies, as well as local voter approval.
Q: What is the benefit of this project to Hermosa Beach?
By accessing offshore oil reserves from an onshore location, utilizing the latest recovery technology, the Oil Recovery Project can protect both the sensitive ocean and coastal environments, while delivering significant new annual revenues to the Hermosa Beach community. Royalty revenues from both recovered tidelands and uplands oil resources, as well as new tax revenues, have the potential to generate several hundred million dollars over the life of the project.
Q: Is recovering more offshore oil the right policy direction for Hermosa Beach or California?
The Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project is consistent with the Obama Administration’s energy policy of maximizing resource recovery from existing lands and leases. The project will efficiently and safely produce new domestic oil resources from a known and well-characterized reservoir, under an existing lease, and deliver these needed new supplies into the currently supply-constrained California marketplace. Importantly, the Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project will be a California-oriented project – a wholly in-state oil production, transportation and distribution energy supply project.
Q: What about fracking? Isn’t this going to be dangerous?
There will be NO use of any controversial shale “hydraulic fracking” technology for resource recovery from this project. The portion of the previously developed Torrance Oil Field that is being accessed by directional drilling is well characterized and known to be comprised of naturally fractured thin sands and shales, and thus it already provides the reservoir characteristics necessary for oil production, so fracking is not necessary.
Q: Where will this proposed project be located?
The project is proposed for a single, already developed 1.3-acre site -- not multiple locations often associated with other oil development projects. The project location is within the City’s light manufacturing area, and adjacent to a City-designated truck route. The project site was historically used as the City’s landfill and housed earlier oil recovery operations. It currently is utilized as the City’s maintenance yard.
Q: Will this project be safe?
Yes. Construction and operations of the proposed facility will utilize today’s latest, proven technology to address environmental issues, will meet and exceed regulatory requirements, and will safeguard workers and the surrounding community. Technologies developed for the sensitive offshore environment will be incorporated into this onshore project to ensure maximum safety and protection of the environment. All recovery and processing operations will be completely contained and utilize a closed loop design with the latest in automated safety redundancy systems, which will protect both workers and the surrounding community from the risk of spills or accidents.
Q: Will there be significant impacts from this project?
The City will prepare an EIR which will assess potential environmental impacts, including those related to air and water quality, geology, hazards, aesthetics, noise, traffic, and parking. Like most projects, we know the construction phase will involve increased activity around the project site, and the project will implement mitigation measures to minimize identified impacts during construction, including a 32-foot sound attenuation wall to protect neighbors from noise. Normal production operations will be quietly maintained behind a 16-foot block wall, with a 10 foot landscaped setback along the adjacent roadways. The proposed project will provide offsite intersection improvements and the undergrounding of utility lines. Normal operations also will result in less traffic than the current use.
Construction work at the site will be allowed on weekdays from 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm pm. No construction will occur on Sunday or federal holidays. Under normal conditions, the facility will be operated and manned 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, allowing for deliveries only between 9:00am and 3:00pm.
Q: Will there be offsite activities from this project, as well?
There are limited offsite project-related activities which will include installation of the utility infrastructure (electricity and water) needed to operate the facility, construction of the pipelines needed to deliver the resources to market, and the use of City-designated truck routes during the construction and the testing phases of the project.
Q: What about truck traffic?
Construction truck traffic will be minimal. Trucks will be required to use existing designated truck routes, and trips will be spaced throughout the day and limited to the hours of 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Additionally, there will be a maximum limit of only 18 heavy truck trips per day allowed for the project. These trips also will be limited to very brief periods during the construction and drilling portion of the project, accounting for less than 5 percent of the days of the construction and testing period. Once construction and drilling are complete, normal operations will result in less regular vehicle traffic related to the site than its current use.
Q: What about noise levels?
There will be no significant noise impacts to surrounding residential areas from the project’s drilling and testing processes, or during normal operations. The noise associated with the drilling and testing phases will be reduced to less than significant levels by the erection of a 32 foot sound attenuation wall, as well as by utilizing sound attenuation materials for the drilling rig and other equipment. The ongoing operation of the project will not result in any perceptible increase in existing noise levels within the surrounding residential areas.
Q: Who is behind this project?
The Hermosa Beach Oil Recovery Project is a project of E&B Natural Resources Management Corp., a California-based oil and natural gas development company that is guided by a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and has experience operating within urban oil fields, including here in the Los Angeles area. Please visit our offices at 205 Pier Avenue or call us at: (424) 903-7222 for more information. Or visit us on the web at: http://ebnr-hermosa.com.