Here’s a supertanker at anchor off the coast of Hermosa Beach. I assume it’s waiting for some kind of lovely petroleum product from one of Southern California’s many fine oil refineries, bound for one of our friends across the Pacific. Then again, maybe not. I can’t say I really know anything about the most likely use of supertankers off the coast of California.
UPDATE: I knew the locals would come through! This is from comments:
As folks have pointed out below, it’s unloading crude oil through an offshore transfer point connected to the El Segundo refinery. It’s pretty cool when you’re at Manhattan or Dockweiler beach some times and you can see a supertanker start out really low in the water and gradually rise as the tanks are emptied. IIRC, most of the crude for west coast refineries used to come from Alaska, but I’m not sure these days.
I guess I didn’t realize that California refineries received crude oil via ship. I’d have thought they used either local crude or else crude delivered via pipeline. Shows how much I know.