Ventura-area oil supply companies stand to benefit from the approval this week of pipeline operations between Chevron's giant oil and gas processing facility at Gaviota and rigs in the Santa Barbara Channel.
The plant has been idle for over a year, but the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved use of the pipeline, despite higher-than-expected levels of dangerous hydrogen sulfide in the offshore gas that will run through it.
"We've had to lay people off during the delay," said Jim Noble of Milpark Drilling Fluids of Ventura.
A survey of 30 Ventura and Santa Barbara companies last June showed they are losing about $1.5 million each month the plant is idle, said Terry Covington of the industry supported California Coastal Operators' Group. Many of the companies have contracts with Chevron for work at Gaviota or the company's three offshore platforms.
Chevron officials said the plant will operate by June.