In January, 2007 (during the Tranquillon II permitting process), Sunset Exploration, with partners Exxon/Mobil, submitted an application to the County for the Vahevala Project, an onshore slant drilling alternative to drill and process the oil from Vandenberg AFB. The application was found incomplete due to the lack of consent from the property owner, US Air Force. The Air Force sent a letter on April 28, 2008 indicating that any access and use of the base would require a competitive bid. The US Air Force sent another letter on June 25, 2008 indicating that Sunset/Exxon’s proposed location would present a wide range of significant operational constraints. Congressman John Garamendi sent a letter to VAFB in December 2011, asking the Base to reconsider.
Status: On July 17, 2013, the Air Force announced its plans to prepare an Opportunity Assessment (OA) to review the possibility of drilling from a location on VAFB into the Tranquillon Ridge field. The OA was to consider constraints related to the Base’s mission, environmental impacts, political ramifications, etc. Several environmental groups expressed their concerns to the Air Force in a conference call and EDC followed up with a written confirmation of those concerns. The OA is not a public process and the document will not be made public. The Air Force released an Executive Summary of its decision in May 2014 and is now taking steps to look at the possibility of drilling from VAFB.M/p>