The U.S. Air Force is considering leasing land off the coast of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to oil and gas exploration companies. The military branch is investigating the economic, environmental and political feasibility of offering the land for energy development, the Lompoc Record reported.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center will perform an opportunity assessment to determine if the Air Force can extract oil and gas off the coast of the base using extended reach drilling technology. The base already has five active wells, the source said. If the study determines oil and gas extraction is feasible, the military branch would consider offering and enhanced use lease with an energy company.
"Initial information obtained by the Air Force indicates there may be potential for new technology slant drilling capable of targeting oil deposits off Vandenberg Air Force Base's coastline from locations with minimal or mitigable mission/environmental impacts," Master Sgt. Kevin Williams, a spokesman for Air Force Space Command, told the Los Angeles Times.
The military branch will also meet with local politicians about the plan, said Doreen Farr, third district supervisor for the Air Force.
"There's many, many concerns," she told the Lompoc Record. "What we have now is more of an idea than a specific project, though, so I'll look forward to sitting down and talking to them."