On January 28, 1969, during operations to shut in well A-21 on the offshore drilling Platform A, about 6 miles southeast of Santa Barbara in 190 feet of water, a leak of mixed crude oil and gas occurred. For the first few days the crude oil largely remained in the Santa Barbara Channel. However, starting on February 4, southeasterly winds began to drive the oil ashore, resulting in contamination of beaches, harbors and coastline, and initiating perhaps the largest oil pollution clean-up operation in the United States. Ocean floor seepage associated with the well blowout was highly variable with respect to location and magnitude with time. Attempts to control the oil on the surface near the platform were largely unsuccessful. To encompass the entire area of oil emission, booms several thousand feet in length would have been required. Chemical dispersants are questionable. Recovery of the majority of the accumulated oil was accomplished by vacuum tank trucks and manual spreading of straw. The only method effective for removal of oil stains from rocks and jetties was high pressure water washing following by sandblasting. Total known bird losses through March 31 in the area affected were determined to be 3600. Only minimal adverse effects on fish were noted. ( Contract 14-12-530 )

  • Corporate Authors:

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    3180 George Washington Way
    Richland, WA  United States  99354
  • Publication Date: 1969-7

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00019652
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 1 2003 12:00AM