The Carpinteria Field was discovered in 1964 by Chevron and ARCO in California State Tidelands off Carpinteria. Development began in 1965 with construction of platforms Hope and Heidi in state waters.
Development continued into adjacent Federal waters with installation of platform Hogan on Federal Lease OCS-P 0166, which began producing in 1968. Platform Houchin followed in 1969. By August 1969, Phillips Petroleum had drilled 52 wells on the lease and was producing 28,450 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) from the two platforms. Production was by gas lift. In the mid-to-late 1970s, Phillips added 43 wells. In the absence of additional drilling, production then declined until by early 1990 it reached 1800 BOPD from 42 wells, an average of 43 BOPD per well.
Signal, a subsidiary of Carone Petroleum, purchased the Federal Lease in 1990, becoming the first independent to own and operate on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Acquired assets included Platforms Houchin and Hogan in Federal waters just outside the 3-mile state limit, and an onshore 3-phase oil and gas treatment plant where the 7-mile subsea pipeline comes to shore in Ventura county. It should be noted that in 1996, Chevron removed two state-water platforms in the field as it had reached its economic limit based on crude prices at that time.
After the Federal lease acquisition, Pacific Operators Offshore LLC (PACOPS), a corporate affiliate of Signal, was formed and became the operator of record. PACOPS was able to cut costs and arrest the natural decline, but without new drilling, production inevitably resumed its decline. PACOPS’s experience shows that Carpinteria wells cease to be productive for various reasons, including mechanical problems such as damaged casing, increased water production due to depletion of one or more of the productive intervals, and near-borehole damage caused by movement of fine particles within the producing formation.
In 1998, PACOPS supervised the drilling of 6 wells and increased production from almost 1,000 BOPD in early 1998 to about 1,550 BOPD by late 1998. To arrest natural decline, in early 2005 PACOPS supervised a second drilling campaign of drilling 7 wells. Between 1991 to date, PACOPS has planned and supervised numerous workovers to convert wells from Gas Lift to Rod pump, repair well casings, perforate new stringers, perform near wellbore stimulation, etc, and these efforts continue to date.
PACOPS is fully bonded and insured to operate Federal Lease OCS P-0166. It is currently in the negotiating stage to assume operation of a small lease for an independent development company.
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