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 92 years, more than 400 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, 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 the 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 the scheduling of 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 L.A. Basin assets. L.A. Basin operations are a significant source of revenue for local government as well. Collectively, more than $12 million in ad valorem taxes were paid to Los Angeles County in 2015.