California Nixes PXP's Offshore Tranquillon Ridge Project

Plains Exploration & Production Company ("PXP") has announced an update on its Tranquillon Ridge (T-Ridge) project.

On July 24, 2009, despite support of California Governor Schwarzenegger and bipartisan approval by the California State Senate, the California State Assembly failed to approve legislation authorizing a path forward for PXP's T-Ridge project. Support for T-Ridge has come from Santa Barbara County, the California State Senate, the Governor and a large environmental coalition, including the Environmental Defense Center, Trust for Public Land, and "Get Oil Out", as well as firefighters and peace officers throughout the state. More than two dozen environmental groups have urged approval for T-Ridge because of the significant merits of the project. The T-Ridge project utilizes an existing platform and facilities operating off the Santa Barbara coast to access oil and gas reserves currently drained by PXP and upon project approval will include a steady new revenue stream to the state of California, as well as a range of significant environmental protections and offsets listed below:

  • Donation of nearly 4,000 acres of PXP coastal land for permanent conservation.
  • Termination of PXP's existing oil and gas production operations offshore California in 14 years, and removal of all related onshore processing facilities at the end of the project, instead of the company's current 30+ year production/drilling program.
  • Mitigation of the project's greenhouse gas emissions.

Economically, to the people of California, the project would provide a $100 million advance to the California General Fund this budget year and as much as $4 billion in royalty revenue over the life of the project.

"The T-Ridge project is a unique opportunity for California and PXP to significantly accelerate the end of oil production and drilling operations offshore, for California to receive tremendous initial value and offsets in the form of large land donations and alternative energy support, and for California to receive a several billion dollar revenue stream to help bridge the current fiscal crisis. PXP is committed to continue working with California's elected and appointed leaders on a potential agreement for the T-Ridge project to build on the momentum generated by the Administration's and Senate's bipartisan support," commented Mr. Steve Rusch, Vice President Environmental, Health, & Safety and Government Affairs of PXP.

The T-Ridge project continues to maintain strong support and has benefited from the attention it received during the recent high profile budget debate. PXP intends to continue pushing for the project based on its merits to the state of California and address any misconceptions that groups may have regarding the project.