History of Inglewood Oil Field

The Inglewood Oil Field has played a major role in the history of Los Angeles. Since the discovery of precious oil and natural gas resources in 1924 the field has helped fuel our lifestyle and strengthened our local economy. Over the field's history 1,600 wells have been drilled within the historical boundaries of the field. Today, the oil field's boundary covers approximately 1,000 acres making it one of the largest contiguous urban oil fields in the United States.

The field was first commercially produced by Standard Oil Company of California Los Angeles back in the days when Baldwin Hills was considered "out in the country" and the lands were primarily farmed and grazed.

Even in the early days of oil drilling, the Inglewood Oil Field was recognized as one of the few examples of orderly development.

Below is a partial list of early operators of the Inglewood Oil Field.
NOTE: All years were not available.

Petroleum Securities Company (Rubel)
Associated Oil Company
Brownmoor Oil Company
California Petroleum Corporation of California
O.R. Howard and Company
Mohawk Oil and Gas Syndicate
Standard Oil Company of California (1924)
57 Petroleum Corporations
Bartolo Oil Company (1924)
Associated Oil Company (1924)
Amazon Drilling Company controlled by Pacific Oil Company
Shell Company of California (1925)
(Source: California Oil Fields, California State Mining Bureau, E.Huguenin)

1543 Native Southern Californians used tar for decorating and to waterproof canes and baskets.
1849 Travelers moving along a popular route in Southern California used oil from seeps to lubricate their wagon wheels.
1850 Andreas Pico distilled oil to use for his lamp at the San Fernando Mission in Southern California.
1879 The first oil pipeline in California - a 2-inch line - was laid from Pico Canyon to the Pioneer Oil Refinery, a distance of five miles.
1892 Edward L. Doheny drilled the first well to strike oil in Southern California, near present day Dodger Stadium.
1896 The first offshore wells in the United States were drilled in the Pacific Ocean as an offshore extension to Summerland Oil Field in Santa Barbara County. The wells were drilled from piers built over the water.
1900 California produced four million barrels of oil.
1900 A loyal music teacher, Emma Summers, was one of the most successful investors in the first years of the initial oil boom in Southern California. By 1900, Summers controlled half the production in the original Los Angeles field. She became known as "California's Petroleum Queen."
1900 to 1910 Because of the "Black Gold" rush, Los Angeles population grew at an astounding rate. The population doubled between 1890-1900, then tripled again between 1900-1910.
1910 California production jumped to 77 million barrels of oil.
1924 Oilmen first began drilling in the Baldwin Hills region of the Inglewood Oil Field in September, 1924. The field was first commercially produced by Standard Oil Company of California Los Angeles and produced approximately 145 barrels of oil a day.

Los Angeles became a center of oil production in the early 20th century, and by the early 1920’s the region was producing one-quarter of the world’s total supply.

1957 The Seal of the County of Los Angeles was altered to include the symbol of oil rigs because of the integral role they played in Los Angeles history.
1982 The Inglewood Oil Field was one of three to receive the first Division of Oil and Gas awards for "Outstanding Oilfield Lease and Facility Maintenance". The award was presented to the Getty Oil Company for the Vickers lease in 1982.
2009 California is still a significant producer of oil but now imports 65% of the oil it consumes.

Future of Inglewood Oil Field

The Inglewood Oil Field has played an integral role in the history of oil production in the Los Angeles Basin. Over the past 86 years, more than 399 million barrels of oil have been produced from the field. Today, the Inglewood Oil Field continues to be a steady source of domestic oil and natural gas and is the second most productive oil field in the entire L.A. Basin. Production at the field has averaged between 2.5 - 3.1 million barrels a year for the past ten years. With technological advancements in the oil and gas industry, PXP's engineers estimate that as much as 50% of the field's oil resources remain in place in producing zones and can be readily accessed through drilling and production activities. These resources will continue to ensure that the Inglewood Oil Field supplies Southern California's refineries with oil for decades to come, offsetting their need to import supplies from Venezuela and the Middle East.

Oil drilling and production activities throughout California are heavily regulated by the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). Looking ahead for the next 20 years, new drilling and production efforts at the Inglewood Oil Field will also be regulated by the Los Angeles County Community Standards District (CSD). The comprehensive guidelines put forth in the CSD are unique to the Inglewood Oil Field and regulate nearly every aspect of the oil field's daily operations. These regulations make PXP’s Inglewood Oil Field the most stringently regulated urban oil field in California.

While the oil field continues to have substantial resources remaining, the CSD imposes limits on future growth and caps on the number of new wells that can be drilled over the next 20 years. Under the CSD, no more than 45 new and eight redrilled wells can be drilled per year and no more than 600 new and redrilled wells can be drilled over the next 20 years. An annual drilling plan must be filed with the county each year that provides an outline of the anticipated new development activity. This unique feature of the CSD provides the community an unprecedented amount of information and advance notice about future activities at the oil field.

Under the CSD, new drilling activities at the oil field will be governed by some of the most stringent noise and odor regulations in the country. No more than three drilling rigs are allowed to operate in the oil field at any one time. The ordinance requires PXP to schedule drilling activities in a spaced out manner to prevent temporary over concentration of drilling activities adjacent to nearby residents. Night time activities connected with drilling, such as deliveries, are curtailed to limit the impact on the surrounding community.

The Inglewood Oil Field is a significant contributor to the local economy and will continue to be with the on-going development of the oil field's long lived reserves. Tens of millions of dollars annually are generated in royalty revenue from the oil field's operation. Much of this money remains locally as many of the royalty owners work and live in the communities surrounding the oil field. In all, more than 13,000 individuals hold royalty interests connected to the Inglewood Oil Field and PXP's L.A. Basin assets. PXP's L.A. Basin operations are a significant source of revenue for local government as well. Collectively, PXP paid more than $10.4 million in ad valorem taxes to Los Angeles County in 2010.