Venoco Inc. has transferred one of its oil leases to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Lease 208 covers 1,920 acres off the coast of Naples Ranch, between Goleta and Gaviota. The area was originally leased to Signal Oil and Gas Co. in 1946.
The lease ceased production in 1993 and Venoco has since plugged and abandoned all the wells in the area. While active, the lease generated $7.5 million worth of oil and natural gas. Now that it is a state marine sanctuary, no more development can occur on the lease.
Lease 208 is one of 29 leases that have been transferred to state control. There are currently 17 active leases in state waters.
The state of California controls water within three miles of the coast. Any leases farther out fall under federal jurisdiction.