Exxon Mobil’s proposal to reactivate its idle Santa Ynez Unit offshore platforms in California has been denied by a U.S. District Judge. The company had planned to rely on trucks to transport crude to onshore refineries, but the judge upheld the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ decision to reject the trucking plan. The judge cited safety concerns as the main reason for denying the project, stating that while Exxon has the right to operate its offshore oil platforms, it does not have the right to transport the crude via trucks.
Exxon argued that the county supervisors’ opposition to oil production influenced their decision, but the judge rejected this contention. The company’s three Santa Ynez offshore platforms have been shut down since 2015 when a pipeline rupture resulted in a significant oil spill. Despite this setback, Exxon’s shares closed at a record high as U.S. crude oil prices reached their highest level since August of the previous year.
This ruling comes as a blow to Exxon Mobil’s plans to resume operations in the Santa Ynez Unit. The company will now have to consider alternative methods for transporting their crude oil to refineries onshore. The judge’s decision reflects the importance of prioritizing safety concerns when it comes to transporting hazardous materials.