CC Council Okays Proposed Settlement Framework With Sentinel Peak Resources


November 24, 2022

Negotiations between Culver City and Sentinel Peak Resources regarding options to the Oil Termination Ordinance to avoid litigation have apparently been very productive.

This week, the City Council approved a proposed settlement framework with Sentinel Peak which includes a phased-out schedule as wells as provisions regarding restoration, insurance and just transition of the city’s portion of Inglewood Oil Field.

“This is a negotiation for certainty,” said Councilmember Alex Fisch.

According to City Attorney Heather Baker, the framework calls for the closure of the OIF by the end of 2029. Baker said that Sentinel Peak has proposed capping three wells a year between 2023 and 2027 and plugging the rest of the wells and closing the field by 2029.

The City Attorney expressed hope that Culver City and Sentinel Peak will hammer out a final agreement by December 31.

“Folks, you are heard,” exclaimed Council Yasmine McMorrin, backing the framework.

In June, Culver City and Sentinel Peak extended the term of the existing Tolling Agreement to continuing their discussions to in an effort to avoid potential litigation.

Last October, the City Council adopted the Oil Termination Ordinance – which took effect November 24, 2021 – to prohibit the drilling of any new or re-drilling of any existing oil wells within the city’s portion IOF and further requires the phasing out, plugging and restoration of all existing oil and gas wells by no later than November 24, 2026.

In late November 2021, Culver City entered into 90-day tolling agreements with Sentinel Peak Resources as well as two groups of stakeholders asserting ownership interests within the City’s IOF.

The pause was consistent with recommendations made by several Council members during the Oil Termination Ordinance public meeting process and Sentinel Peak Resources’ requests for a reasonable window for discussions.

But the temporary tolling period did not preclude the city from enforcing the prohibition on the drilling of new wells or the re-drilling or deepening of existing wells, as stated in the Oil Termination Ordinance, said city officials.

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