Westminster to Discuss Signal Hill Petroleum in Closed Session

Signal Hill Petroleum, the oil and gas company that has been conducting seismic surveys across north Orange County, is the subject a Westminster city council closed session Wednesday to negotiate prices, according to the city agenda.

Top city officials will meet to discuss “Price and Terms of Payment” of city easements, according to the agenda posted online last week:

Conference with Real Property Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 Property: City Easements; City Negotiator: City Manager Eddie Manfro and Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons; Negotiating Party: City Manager Eddie Manfro and Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons; Under Negotiations: Price and Terms of Payment.

It’s the first time the council has heard from Signal Hill Petroleum since they denied a request by the company in 2013 for a permit to do underground testing for oil deposits, according to councilwoman Diana Carey, citing concern over potential damage to the city’s water infrastructure.

At the time, city officials said vibrations from seismic testing could damage the water system’s aging pipes and sewer lines.

The company has been conducting exploratory geophysical surveys for potential oil extraction in parts of North Orange County for more than a year, as Voice of OC reported in June 2013.

According to Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons, Signal Hill Petroleum has not been awarded any permits since, but has been in contact with city officials.

Simmons declined to discuss the company’s interest in city property further, citing the confidentiality of closed session issues.

Simmons also noted that, although the law requires the company be listed on the closed session notice, Signal Hill Petroleum officials will not participate in the session.

Read the full city council agenda here.