Estero Bay, California, located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, may be the site of the first deepwater terminal in the United States capable of handling tankers larger than 200,000 deadweight tons. The ships would be moored 2.6 miles from shore at a single point mooring (SPM). Crude oil would be transferred to the San Francisco Bay area by a 280-mile pipeline.
One of the first questions asked by most permitting organizations is, what is the chance of an oil spill and how would you clean it up. The environmental studies for the project have addressed this question with particular attention to the prevention of spillage and, secondarily, to the cleanup equipment and organization required in the event that spillage should occur. Equal consideration is being given to the operational procedures, including use of owner-trained mooring masters. A plan for manpower organization and the pooling of people during an emergency has been developed.