Phillips 66 pipe bursts, spills oil near Santa Maria

June 4, 2015

UnknownTwo weeks following the oil spill near Refugio State Beach, a second Santa Barbara County crude pipe burst, this time causing a small spill near Santa Maria. [KEYT]

Around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, a passerby reported seeing oil on a sidewalk in front of the Santa Barbara Count Sheriff’s station near the intersection of Foster Road and California Boulevard. The spill came from an underground Phillips 66 pipeline that runs from oil fields in Orcutt to the Nipomo mesa refinery.

Phillips 66 estimates the spill totalled less than one barrel of oil, or about 42 gallons. A spokesperson for the company said the Phillips 66 control room shut down the feed to the pipeline immediately after receiving report of the spill.

Cleanup and repair crews have since worked around the clock to patch up the pipe and make it operational again. Investigators have not yet determined what caused the pipeline to burst.

The spill caused a strong odor in the area, but a Phillips 66 spokesperson said people should not worry.

“Air monitoring indicates there is no health risk to the community,” said company spokeswoman Janet Grothe.

On May 19, a pipe belonging to Plains All American Pipeline ruptured near Goleta, causing 21,000 to 105,000 gallons of oil to spill. Much of the oil flowed into a culvert and then into a ditch that drains into the ocean.

A federal government report released Wednesday states the All American pipe had extensive external corrosion prior to it bursting.

Phillips 66 is currently seeking permission to transport crude oil by rail to the Niomo Mesa refinery. The planned rail spur would run through San Luis Obispo County.



  1. Kevin Rice says:

    Dear CCN, P66 is NOT “currently seeking permission to transport crude oil by rail”. They don’t need permission for that. P66 is seeking a permit to build a rail off-loading facility.

    (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
  2. agag1 says:

    One barrel?
    Makes me wonder how much leaks from cars dripping oil each and every minute of the day, not to mention natural seepage.
    Let’s keep things in perspective.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      No kidding! 42 gallons of oil is roughly 3 to 3.5 million drops. In SLO County, daily vehicle miles traveled is roughly 7.7 million miles (2012 figure). If every vehicle leaks one drop of oil per mile that’s more than twice the amount of this “oil spill” each day.

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
      • r0y says:

        Except a drop of oil per mile is a terrible leak, and if all 7.7 million drops were seen, we’d have oil slicks along all the roads. I don’t mean to piss all over your numbers, as I’m sure their fine; what I have issue with is the slant to think that it’s possible there is a drop of oil per mile, from all the cars (i.e. 7.7 million drops ain’t no big thang). 7.7 million drops WOULD be a MASSIVE thing in this small area (area of roadways).

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. Rich in MB says:

    The project died with the Refugio spill…this was just a period on the sentence.
    Let Texas have the oil jobs, we don’t want the blood money!

    (-12) 36 Total Votes - 12 up - 24 down

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