OFFSHORE PETROLEUM TRANSFER SYSTEMS FOR WASHINGTON STATE

The Oceanographic Commission of Washington was funded to determine if it would be feasible to locate an offshore petroleum trasfer system somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, as an alternative to the use of existing or expanded oil facilities near Anacortes and Bellingham. Single Point Moorings (of which monobuoys are one type) are feasible west of Port Angeles and off the Mobil refinery near Cherry Point. They are not feasible along Washington's Pacific coast or off the Texaco and Shell refineries at Anacortes. A monobuoy system west of Port Angeles would cost more to construct and operate through the next 24 years than would (1) a common-use, deepwater fixed terminal at Port Angeles, Cherry Point, or Burrows Bay near Anacortes or (2) four independent deepwater terminals at each refinery in the Cherry Point-Anacortes area. These answers evolved from the intensive study of a complex issue and they represent a greatly oversimplified summary of the Commission's 525 page report to the legislature. The question of feasibility itself was answered in terms of engineering, economic, social, jurisdictional, and environmental considerations. This is not a siting study, however. The study did not ask "Where is the best site in the state to locate a monobuoy or other deepwater oil terminal?" What the study did was assess feasibility: "Is it feasible to transfer oil from ship to shore somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula?" Because the degree of feasibility of almost any development is relative, the study also examined the alternatives of continued use of the existing facilities and expansion of these facilities as points of contrast to the development of completely new facilities on the Olympic Peninsula. The purpose of studying all these alternatives was to develop any relative differences that might exist among them. This is a step in the decision making process. As a result of this study, public policy makers now know which alternatives are similar, in terms of dollars and degree of impacts, and they can make rational choices about what sort of development to encourage or discourage at various locations. A next step would be to focus on those alternatives which now hold the most interest, by making site-specific analyses. Whereas this study of feasibility was on the general level using typical facilities and typical impacts, the sitespecific step could develop budgets for a potential owner-operator. In this way, the study results do not recommend sites for development for the state and do not pre-empt the environmental impact statement process.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Oceanographic Commission of Washington

    312 Fifth Avenue, North
    Seattle, WA  United States  98109
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 3-23
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00098170
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Oceanographic Commission of Washington
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 1975 12:00AM