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By Julia Callender
What is Venoco? Venoco Inc. is a company that owns the oilrigs off the coast of Santa Barbara County. Even though Venoco Inc. was founded in 1992, this company has been ranked one of the top 50 oil firms. They use the oilrigs to extract oil from under the ocean floor.
Tim Marquez (CEO) and Rod Eson (President) founded Venoco in 1992, even though the money for the company was not collected until 1994.
Preventing Environmental Disasters
Carpinterians definitely care a lot about our environment. Venoco Inc. does also. Venoco takes extreme precautions to be sure that a minimum amount of gas escapes into the air. The main tool that prevents most of the fumes from escaping is called a "seep tent". A seep tent is a 10,000 square foot pyramid that is placed on the ocean floor, capturing the escaped gasses coming up through a hole in the floor in which the oil is extracted. Venoco has two of these gigantic pyramids, which are placed side by side. Many high technology machines also are used to prevent oil spills. Highly trained geology and oceanography professionals come and inspect the equipment and make sure that everything is in working order.
What is MMS?
What is MMS? MMS is short for Minerals Management Service. MMS is a program that makes sure that the collecting of natural resources stays steady. MMS also works on conserving the nations energy. MMS has great concerns about oil spills, as they can be quite harmful. So MMS also watches oil platform companies to make sure that there is as much concern about safety as possible.
Positive and Negative
Venoco Inc. thinks safety is very important. They minimize the danger and risk for the workers, and take care to keep as much fumes and exhaust out of the ocean air as possible. Unfortunately, there still is the risk of oil spills. Some fumes do get to the surface. Some oil companies ship the oil from the platform to the mainland via pipes under the surface. Venoco prefers to ship its oil to Carpinteria on a boat. This causes the fumes and smog from the oil to flow about in the ocean air.
Even though the oil platforms out in the ocean cause air pollution, the pipes that extract the oil from the ocean floor create a small, manmade reef. Plants, algae, clams, and muscles attach themselves to the pipe. This gives food to the local mammals that eat them. The plants and algae that grow on the pipe provide food for fish. The fish make a tasty meal for animals such as dolphins.