In 1969, an oil spill from a California offshore platform will lead to creation of the modern environmental movement. Today, some Santa Barbara County residents want to lift the state’s drilling ban – to reduce the relentless flow of the region’s underwater natural oil seeps.
On January 28, after drilling 3,500 below the ocean floor, a Union Oil Company drilling platform six miles off Santa Barbara, suffered a blowout.
Between 80,000 barrels and 100,000 barrels of oil flowed into the Pacific Ocean and onto beaches, including Summerland – where the U.S. offshore industry began in 1896 with wells drilled from piers.
Problems at the Union Oil platform began when roughnecks began to retrieve the pipe in order to replace a drill bit and pressure became dangerously low, according to a report by the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
“A natural gas blowout occurred. An initial attempt to cap the hole was successful but led to a tremendous buildup of pressure. The expanding mass created five breaks in an east-west fault on the ocean floor, releasing oil and gas from deep beneath the earth,” UCSB noted. Read the rest of this entry »