Mapping the long history of oil drilling in Los Angeles

Re-Post of original article on Curbed Los Angeles

Los Angeles has had always had a complicated relationship with oil. In 1892, what had been a small agricultural city popular with Midwestern tourists became a boomtown nearly overnight when oil was discovered in modern-day Echo Park.

From the beginning, the needs of the oil drillers collided with those of residents, visitors, and developers. The city we know today grew up alongside the oil industry and continues to be shaped by it—about 3,000 active wells remain in LA County, many of them in close proximity to residential neighborhoods, parks, and schools.

LA Curbed mapped a few of the places that show how the industry has embedded itself into the urban environment of Los Angeles.

Learn more about Terra-Petra’s Oil Field Services.

1. Echo Park Deep Pool

1419 Colton St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 481-2640

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Here’s where it all began—yes, here. The current site of the Echo Park Deep Pool is where Edward Doheny and his partner Charles Canfield drilled the first oil well in Los Angeles in 1892, using a sharpened eucalyptus tree. According to lore, they found the site after Doheny spotted a slick black substance on the wheel of a passing cart. As casually as possible, he asked the driver to show him exactly where he had come from.

2. Discovery Well Park

2200 Temple Ave
Signal Hill, CA 90755
(562) 989-7330

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A plaque and adjoining park commemorate the first productive well drilled at Signal Hill. On June 23rd, 1921, a geyser of oil erupted from the Alamitos number one well, leading to an explosion of drilling in the Long Beach area. By 1923, Signal Hill was the state’s largest field, and California was producing a quarter of the world’s supply of oil. Per the plaque, the monument is a “tribute to the petroleum pioneers for their success here, a success which has, by aiding in the growth and expansion of the petroleum industry, contributed so much to the welfare of mankind.” We’ll take their word for it.

3. Pico Canyon Oil Field

Doheny may have set off the oil boom within the city of Los Angeles, but the first successful well in LA County was to the north, in the Santa Susana Mountains. A gusher at Charles Mentry’s Pico Well No. 4 on September 26, 1876, announced to the world that Southern California was rich in black gold. The nearby town of Newhall later became home to the state’s first refinery (pictured below).

4. Phillips 66 Oil Refinery

1660 W Anaheim St
Wilmington, CA 90744

The massive Wilmington Oil Field is the largest in California, having produced somewhere between 760 million and 1.2 trillion barrels of oil since it was first tapped in 1932. The Phillips 66 refinery in the southeast Los Angeles neighborhood paints one of its massive storage tanks orange  every October as a strange and festive Halloween tradition.

5. Andeavor Refinery

22600 S Wilmington Ave
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 816-8100

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Perhaps the most recognizable oil facility in the world, the Andeavor Refinery in Carson is adorned with an enormous American flag easily visible to drivers on the 405. Like Andeavor’s Wilmington refinery, this one dates back to the region’s oil boom of the 1920s and 1930s. Together, the two facilities now process a combined 380,000 barrels daily.

6. THUMS Islands

(562) 786-2385

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At the southeastern end of the Wilmington field is are the THUMS islands, constructed by the Texaco, Humble, Union, Mobil and Shell oil companies in 1965. As part of an agreement with the city of Long Beach, the oil companies invested considerable funds in disguising the drilling sites with boulders, palm trees, sculptures, and water falls—so much so that they are sometimes mistaken for luxury resorts.

7. Venice Beach

Venice Beach
Los Angeles, CA

Starting in the 1930s, Venice had a run as one of the leading oil producers in the state. During that time, derricks ran all along the canals and dotted the beach. Waterways became filled with oily sludge and the ocean was badly polluted. Production eventually dropped off in the 1970s and the last wells in the area were capped less than two decades later.

8. Inglewood Oil Field

College Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230

The enormous Inglewood Oil Field was first tapped in 1924 and has produced close to 400 million barrels of oil since then. Despite years of complaints from nearby residents, hundreds of wells continue to operate daily right alongside its neighbors in Baldwin Hills and Culver City.

9. False building

1351 S Genesee Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

From the outside this edifice looks like a particularly soul crushing office building with no windows. Inside, however, it’s not a building at all. The structure is simply a shell disguising the site of an oil derrick slurping away at the Beverly Hills Oil Field.

10. Beverly Hills High School

241 S Moreno Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 229-3685

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One of the smaller major oil fields in the Los Angeles area, the Beverly Hills field is nonetheless productive, and the oil derrick on the campus of Beverly Hills High School was, until recently, churning out about 400 barrels of crude each day. The drilling site was ordered shut in 2016 and the complicated process of cleaning it up is scheduled to start this month.

11. Salt Lake Oil Field

6298 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-2864

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The Grove and Original Farmers Market today sit atop the Salt Lake Oil Field, discovered by dairy farmer Arthur Gilmore in the mid-1890s. Though the field was most productive in the early 20th Century, it was still being tapped in 1985, when drillers inadvertently caused methane gas to move below ground, rising up to the surface within the Ross store at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue. The resulting explosion injured 23 people.

12. Jefferson Drill Site

1375 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007

The subject of significant community opposition, this South LA drill site was forced last year to comply with city-imposed requirements that ensure its operators enclose the site and monitor vibrations and noxious fumes that neighbors say are caused by the drilling.

13. Del Amo Field

It might not look like it, but this quiet residential street in Torrance was the site of the first major strike in the Del Amo oil field. Throughout the 1920s, this was one of the most productive fields in the LA area with nearly 1,500 wells spread across more than 3,500 acres.

14. Huntington Beach

Offshore oil rigs are a familiar sight to Huntington Beach residents and visitors. On and off land, drillers have been tapping the city’s oil field since the 1920s. Recent research from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that it may, in fact, have been oil drilling here that triggered the Long Beach Earthquake in 1933.

Read the original article on Curbed Los Angeles

TERRA-PETRA ELD

The Use of Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) on Waterproofing Membranes over Concrete Surfaces

Waterproofing membranes are a key element in building enclosure systems—a key element that ultimately gets covered up by a variety of finish materials including landscaping, green roofs, topping slabs, pavers and so on. As most of us know, excavation to expose a failed waterproofing membrane for repairs can be prohibitively expensive and in some cases impossible. For this reason, many designers are choosing to specify integrity testing to verify that the waterproofing membrane is free of discontinuities and penetrations through the membrane prior to the installation being permanently covered. When integrity testing is not specified, many contractors are often performing this type of testing voluntarily to avoid future problems or “call-backs.”

The most common integrity testing method is the flood test. Flood testing is typically performed by flooding waterproofed horizontal surfaces with at least two inches (50 mm) of water for a period of up to 48 hours. Temporary dams are often constructed to partition the test areas, provide an up-turned plaza edge and control the depth of the flood testing. During the flood test, access to the underside of the flooded areas is necessary for a visual inspection of water leakage. However, in the case of a membrane failure (leak), flood testing indicates only where water is penetrating through the entire assembly within the test area, not the location above where water is breaching the membrane. In addition, flood testing cannot be performed on vertical surfaces or at locations where the underside of the slab is not accessible.

The aforementioned restrictions and lack of conclusive data associated with flood testing has enabled Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) to gain momentum as a viable alternative to traditional flood testing. This article will focus on the different types of ELD and the applications where ELD is or is not well-suited.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Terra-Petra ELD information

California Commercial Real Estate Unchanged Following Election – Read Survey

The introduction to this survey is provided by John M. Tipton Partner, Real Estate Department Allen Matkins:

Allen Matkins and UCLA Anderson Forecast have partnered to create a Commercial Real Estate Survey and Index to better predict future California commercial rental and vacancy rates. This tool surveys supply-side participants – commercial developers and financiers of commercial development – for insights into their markets. The Survey and the resulting Index provide a measure of the commercial real estate supply-side participants’ view of current and future conditions. Since participants make investment actions based upon these views, it provides a leading indicator of changing supply conditions.

Allen Matkins sponsored this Survey to provide value to the industry. Partnered with UCLA Anderson Forecast, the leading independent economic forecast of both the U.S. and California economies for over 65 years, they have tapped the knowledge of the leading developers and financiers of real estate development in California to provide the best, clear-sighted forecast of the California commercial real estate industry.

Read they Survey and Index here.

Watch the video below (click to open to a new window):

Mixed-use project, called Metropolis, is unprecedented for Downtown L.A.

If you travel down through the Downtown LA area on a regular basis, you have probably noticed the every-changing skyline. As an environmental engineering firm, Terra-Petra is taking part with many of these new projects. One of which is called the Metropolis (you can’t miss this large mixed-use community steadily growing along the 110 freeway). The Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division is consulting on the building envelope waterproofing system for the Metropolis project and inspecting all of the waterproofing as it gets installed.

Read more about Metropolis and other projects currently being led by Chinese developers in Downtown Los Angeles.

Waterproofing Inspections on the Hollywood Argyle Hotel by Terra-Petra

Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division is performing the waterproofing inspections for the Hollywood Argyle Hotel project. Here’s an update via UrbanizeLA.com – by STEVEN SHARP:

After nearly one year of construction, exterior work is in full swing for Hollywood’s Argyle Hotel.

Located at 1800 N. Argyle Avenue, the project consists of a 16-story hotel featuring 220 guest rooms, restaurant space, and ancillary features such as meeting rooms, a swimming pool and a parking garage.  1800 Argyle Avenue Archive (Urbanize LA)

Terra-Petra Assists on Final Phase of Dana Strand Development in Wilmington

Terra-Petra has recently completed its role on Phase 4 of the Dana Strand project in Wilmington, California. Our team of environmental engineering professionals has been involved with this project since its inception, having worked on Phases 1, 2 and 3.

Earlier this week, nonprofit developers Abode Communities and Mercy Housing California convened in Wilmington to celebrate the groundbreaking of Vista del Mar and Camino del Mar, a new collection of 176 affordable homes.

In addition to housing, the $71 million development will offer 35,000 square feet of open and recreational space, as well as features uch as a computer lab, bicycle parking and on-site social services.  The property also is located in close proximity to the Wilmington Waterfront Park.

The projects are considered the fourth and final phase of the Dana Strand Village redevelopment, which has repurposed a 20-acre post-war military housing site.  A full buildout of the New Dana Strand, the culmination of a process that began in 2000, will provide housing for approximately 750 people.

Vista del Mar and Camino del Mar were through both public and private sources, including U.S. Bank, low income housing tax credits and tax exempt bonds from the City of Los Angeles.

Completion is expected in 2018.

Successful Oil Well Re-Abandonment Work in Santa Fe Springs

The end of August 2016 marked the commencement of Terra-Petra’s re-abandonment of a single oil and gas well located on a client’s property in Santa Fe Springs, California.

Terra-Petra managed all of the oil well permitting matters associated with an unspecified redevelopment of the site since March of this year — consulting with the property owner and negotiating with the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) on all oil well related compliance matters in an attempt to bring the site up to current standards so that it can be redeveloped.

Terra-Petra provided a full turn-key approach to address the oil well compliance matters upon submitting the Construction Site Plan Review, wrote the well reabandonment program, filed for and received the Permit to Conduct Well Operations and currently in the process of re-abandoning the well. The well re-abandonment work typically consists of drilling out all existing cement plugs within the well all the way to depth.

Once the well is cleaned out new “isolation plugs” consisting of cement are installed at varying depths to seal off different oil and gas producing zones including the upper hydrocarbon zone as well as the base of fresh water.

The cementing operations are completed with a final cement plug from 25’-35’ deep to the surface.  A steel plate is tack welded to the exterior steel casing and the last 5 digits of the API number are welded to it.

The well then must be surveyed prior to burying with latitude and longitude in a specific DOGGR approved format. Terra-Petra is anticipating a completion date of September 23, 2016. Please contact Terra-Petra for any of your oil well related needs.

Detec Systems Training for the Terra-Petra Team

Certified ELD Field Testing Crew, left to right: Diego Saucedo, Project Coordinator Andrew Alvarran, Anthony Avina, Alvaro Arellano, Director of Field Operations Daniel Valdez and Chad Herrick of Detect Systems.

Detec Systems visited Terra-Petra’s Los Angeles office this week to conduct a comprehensive education and training session to promote their innovative product line of leak detection technologies. Detec provides leading-edge technology in the field of electronic leak detection (ELD), by way of membrane integrity testing and scanning, and automated structure monitoring. The training session included a classroom like session followed by field training on a jobsite.

The Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division is certified to conduct ELD testing throughout Southern California for numerous types of fluid-applied waterproofing and roofing systems in compliance with ASTM 7877-14. This includes any thermoplastic roofing system, any asphalt based waterproofing, traffic coatings, hot and cold fluid applied membranes and some bentonite systems (as long as they have thermoplastic reinforcement).

Terra-Petra employs the use of the Detec Systems Roof Membrane Integrity Scanner (RMIS) to accurately identify breaches in new and existing membrane systems. Many contractors are using a 24-48 hour flood test to check for breaches in these types of waterproofing assemblies. While this method can identify water leaks, it is time consuming and less cost effective. The benefits of the RMIS technology is that breaches and other imperfections can be identified, repaired and re-tested the same day, saving valuable time, resources and money for any project.

Terra-Petra attends Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®

Terra-Petra Environmental Engineering, once again, joined up with the ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CONFERENCE AT YOSEMITE® -October 20-23 at the Tenaya Lodge (“The Gateway to Yosemite”). The conference is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. Here are a few of the highlights.

Left to right: The Great Expo Hall of Tenaya Lodge! Terra-Petra exhibition meeting table; Gorgeous view from the Lodge; The crowd waits to hear Senator Barbara Boxer; Terra-Petra’s Justin Conaway and Kevin Buchanan, on their way out to Fresno Dome; Working up to the top of the Dome and the beautiful view from above; Justin takes a tumble down, but rest assured he is doing fine. Terra-Petra’s team had a fantasic time and as always, The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite was an exceptional event for educational and networking opportunities within the environmental engineering and law industries

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