Local News in Brief : Huntington Beach : Council Votes to Open Talks With Oil Firm
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to open talks with a major oil company to decide whether the company should consolidate its oil drilling operations at a 2-block site in the city’s old downtown area.
The 6-month negotiation period approved by the council with South Coast Oil Corp. will allow the company and the city to determine the impact of consolidating the oil drilling facilities in the area bordered by Walnut and Orange avenues and Lake and Second streets, according to Deputy City Administrator Douglas La Belle.
“The purpose of the negotiation is to . . . determine economic feasibility and compatibility with surrounding land uses,” said La Belle, adding that South Coast Oil owns 90% of the scattered oil wells in the residential area where the consolidated sites would be located.
Residents in another Huntington Beach community have filed a lawsuit challenging a similar plan in their neighborhood. Concerned Citizens of Huntington Beach have alleged that the council violated the city’s General Plan when it approved Angus Petroleum Corp.'s proposal to consolidate several dozen scattered wells onto one site near the intersection of Springfield Avenue and California Street.
Councilwoman Grace Winchell said Tuesday that the consolidated drilling sites can be beneficial because they use more powerful drilling equipment to get a greater oil yield than smaller wells. In addition, she said, the consolidation would enhance city redevelopment efforts by increasing available land when scattered wells are capped.