Planning and Research, Office of
(Office of Planning and Research)
Chevron Cymric Water Line Leak Emergency Repair
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The proposed Project is the emergency repair of the Chevron Lokern oil field fresh water supply pipeline. In February 2011, the leak in the pipeline was discovered and as a result, the pipeline was immediately shut-in. Since the water line was shut-in, Chevron's operations in the McKittrick area have not had access to the volume of fresh water necessary for fire suppression, for use as feed water for the steam generators, to dilute the softened produced water to lower the silica content and temperature of the feed water, and for dust control purposes as produced water cannot be used for dust control. The curtailment of fresh water delivery from the Lokern water supply pipeline requires Chevron's water plant to process more operations produced water for use as feed water for the steam generators, which increases salt and acid usage necessary to offset the hardness of the produced water. Further, the fresh water is used to dilute the softened produced water in order to lower the silica content as well as the temperature of the feed water. The high silica content causes silica build-up in the steam generator piping and ultimately blistering of the tubes. The high silica content causes silica build-up in the steam generator piping and ultimately blistering of the tubes. The higher temperature water causes pump seals to warp and experience undue wear. Both of these occurrences could cause failure of generators and cause a cessation of production. In addition, there has likely been an increase in air emissions as watering for dust control has been reduced to all but the most essential activities.