Oil Production, Storage and Distribution Facility


Southern California

Scope of Work:

  • Oil Production Facility
  • Crude Oil Fingerprinting
  • Soil and Groundwater Contamination Assessment
  • Remedial Soil Excavation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Site Closure

An oil sheen was observed on a large water body adjacent to a neighboring property. The property tenant had been conducting site investigations to evaluate the extent of impact from a recent oil release on their property at the time, and the investigation identified shallow oil seeps on the client's property. Through fingerprinting, Ninyo & Moore showed that the oil on the client's site was not related to the oil on the neighbor's property or the water body.

Project Challenge: Ninyo & Moore attended a meeting on behalf of the client which included the United States Coast Guard, the United States Department of Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), representatives of the neighbor and their consultant, and the client's representative. It was generally accepted that the client was not responsible for the oil discovered on the water body. However, the RWQCB still wanted an investigation of the oil seeps on the client's property.

Innovative Solution: A Cone Penetrometer (CPT) survey was done to confirm the oil did not extend beyond approximately 14 feet bgs and the bulk of the oil was at the groundwater table approximately 5 feet bgs. The CPT survey was able to show that a nearby injection well was not the source of the crude (as had been previously suspected). The cellar on the suspect well, several abandoned underground pipelines and structures on the property, and residual crude oil impacted soil that appeared to be from historic oil production activities, was removed and disposed. The excavations were backfilled with cement slurry and a new cellar was installed.

Services: Investigation activities included advancing several hand auger borings on the property, excavation of shallow trenches, CPT surveys coupled with Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) using the Rapid Optical Screening Tool (ROSTTM) to assess oil impact at depth. A health risk assessment was conducted to evaluate cleanup levels and identify worker training needs for continued site use.

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