San Francisco Oil Haters Yowl at the U.S. Gov't Plan to Dredge SF Bay to *Increase Oil Imports* to SF Oil Refineries

Heh heh, this amuses me in so many ways.

Note the last bit of the excerpt below, which San Francisco oil haters are gonna hate:

U.S. Wants to Dredge San Francisco Bay to Aid Oil Shipping

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to dredge 13 miles of the bay in order to deepen a channel for ships carrying imported crude oil to four Bay Area refineries.  ..."

 

"... The Army Corps of Engineers says the current shipping channel is inefficient because it’s shallow depth limits the amount of oil that ships can carry into the Carquinez Strait. Instead, they have to “light-load” their cargo, wait until high tide, and make multiple trips.

The plan calls for deepening channels in San Pablo Bay’s Pinole Shoal and east of the strait at Bulls Head Reach from 35 to 38 feet, so that the ships can travel with a larger load, reducing the cost, number of ships and drop-offs. The Corps estimates that the dredge will save $10 million annually and increase the oil-carrying capacity of ships from 68% to 72%.

“By decreasing the cost of bringing that commodity into those facilities, then that should translate into a lower cost to the consumer,” said Pamela Castens, who is managing the project for the Corps.

Castens said the crude is shipped in to meet product demand, and the Corps estimates the modification won’t increase the amount of oil that the refineries process. “That volume is assumed to hold steady in the future because of the commodity forecast projections,” Castens said.

Greg Karras, a staff scientist with the environmental group Communities for a Better Environment, disagrees.

"The project would very likely enable full, or at least increased use of the refineries' currently unused capacity,” he wrote in a separate letter to the Corps.  ..."

 

"... The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining shipping lanes across the San Francisco Bay, a process that involves clearing millions of cubic yards of mud, sand and silt every year.  ..."

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Hmmm....bet the California Green Team didn't see that coming!

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Excerpt from the 200+ page report referenced in the article:

https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/11171

"...According to the California Energy Commission, Californians consume nearly 44 million gallons of gasoline and 10 million gallons of diesel every day.  California refineries produce these fuels and other products from crude oil and blending components. Transportation fuel production in California depends on the availability and quality of the crude oils used by refineries in the state.

The supply of crude oil to California refineries has changed substantially in the last 10 years.  Most notably, receipts of foreign crude oil have increased as production sources from California and Alaska have continued to decline. 

Each day approximately two million barrels (a barrel is equal to 42 U.S. gallons) of petroleum are processed into a variety of products, with gasoline representing about half of the total product volume. ..."

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I think the majority of greater Bay Area residents (not environmental NGO's whose bread and butter is banging the table about this stuff) actually would support this proposal because it works to lessen the cost of gasoline, which is probably one of the biggest line item expenses (after housing and food) for the population there. In reality, most of the residents only think of the bays as geographic landmarks they must cross on bridges (and pay a toll to do so). And if you gave them a pragmatic choice between increasing production within the state (by exploring for oil and gas locally) to meet demand vs. increasing import capacity, most would choose the latter.

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I would suggest the situation is far worse than set forth.  If a tanker cannot navigate into the upper reaches, then the option (additional to simply loading a lot less) is to attempt to "lighter" the cargo by pumping it out into tank barges, lashed alongside, in the outer bay.  That has several risks, including spillage from improper or loose connections of hoses, over-filling of barge tanks and resultant spilling, and the barge itself getting loose from the tug or being struck while in tow to the refinery pier.  Yet this is what a failure to dredge will do. 

Additionally, there will be more ship traffic in the constrained channels to get to the unloading point.  That additional traffic increases risks of collisions, and spillages.  Dredging is one prudent solution.  You could also build pipe from the Bakken to the refineries, but that strikes me as improbable. 

If you refuse to dredge, then eventually the channel gets to less than five feet.  At that point you could still get across with a kayak, but not much else. 

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19 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I would suggest the situation is far worse than set forth.  If a tanker cannot navigate into the upper reaches, then the option (additional to simply loading a lot less) is to attempt to "lighter" the cargo by pumping it out into tank barges, lashed alongside, in the outer bay.  That has several risks, including spillage from improper or loose connections of hoses, over-filling of barge tanks and resultant spilling, and the barge itself getting loose from the tug or being struck while in tow to the refinery pier.  Yet this is what a failure to dredge will do. 

Additionally, there will be more ship traffic in the constrained channels to get to the unloading point.  That additional traffic increases risks of collisions, and spillages.  Dredging is one prudent solution.  You could also build pipe from the Bakken to the refineries, but that strikes me as improbable. 

If you refuse to dredge, then eventually the channel gets to less than five feet.  At that point you could still get across with a kayak, but not much else. 

The article isn't about dredging, its about deepening. Dredging the channel has been ongoing for decades. There has been a long term dredging strategy/plan in place for nearly 3 decades. The program works to beneficially reuse dredged sediment when possible, and dispose of it in the least impactful places possible.  

 

https://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Dredging-Work-Permits/Dredged-Material-Management-Office-DMMO/Annual-Reports/

 

The number of tankers consistently anchored off the Port of Oakland has been "a lot" for several years. This was a shot from April, 2018.

 

Reality in California is actually starkly different than y'all enjoy imagine it being.   

SF Bay ships.jpg

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I live within the heart of this water way. There is a convergence of fresh and brackish water in the exact location to which the dredging is proposed. The water way from its widest point is potentially just a little under 2000 feet. Not certain of the depth in these areas but if they are to travel up to Sacramento from Pacific Ocean there are some bridges to address. Not to mention the consideration of sea creatures affixed to hull of the ship that would impact the fresh water environment. 

I would LOVE to see the dredging of these areas, clean a lot of "s" that has been sitting there for ages. But the enviro-geeks would be standing out with their ironic non-environmental signs (paper manufactured from the use of oil signage) protesting until the farting cows came back home.

I gotta laugh again, because I remember vividly during the course of the most recent election for the governor of California. My now elected Governor Gavin Newsom had a spot tv commercial running in our local market, using all of his awesome media prowess stated that his platform would be used to "STOP PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM DRILLING OFF THE COST OF CALIFORNIA."  These are his very words used. 

Well in light of this article I wonder how much of this "prowess" we will see again? Conspiracy HAT on now. I think the timing is designed perfectly because here in America we are being distracted by our 2020 election cycle. This will dominate the discussion. Oil will be on the back burner "pun intended". And this new plan will move through with very little resistance. 

I want my gas to be cheaper. $3.46 is the cheapest in my area from ARCO which gets oil from the Alaskan fields found in 1967. These are just coming back online now from the 40 years of behind locked up by the FED.

 

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