History of Inglewood Oil Field

The Inglewood Oil Field has played a major role in the history of Los Angeles. Since the discovery of oil and natural gas resources here 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 operators of the Inglewood Oil Field:

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)
Stocker Resources Incorporated (SRI) (1991)
Getty Oil
Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP) (2002)
Freeport-McMoran Oil & Gas (FMOG) (2013)
Sentinel Peak Resources (SPR) (2016)
(Source: California Oil Fields, California State Mining Bureau, E.Huguenin)

 Timeline of Activity:

1543 Native Southern Californians used tar to waterproof canoes, baskets, and in decorating.
1849 Travelers moving along a popular route in Southern California use oil from seeps to lubricate their wagon wheels.
1850 Andreas Pico distilled oil to use as lamp oil 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 4 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.
1955 Waterflood is a method of secondary recovery that was introduced.
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 the one of three to receive the first California Division of Oil and Gas (now California Geologic Energy Management Division) awards for “Outstanding Oilfield Lease and Facility Maintenance”. The award was presented to the Getty Oil Company for the Vickers lease in 1982.
2008 The Los Angeles County Baldwin Hills Community Standards District (CSD) was adopted. When adopted, the CSD was the most comprehensive site-specific set of regulations for any oil field in the state of California.
2009 California is still a significant producer of oil but now imports 69% of the oil it consumes.
2016 The Inglewood Oil Field was purchased by Sentinel Peak Resources


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