LA Basin and Oil Drilling: From Conspicuous to Secretive in a Century

Some amazing pictures I found from the 1920’s-30’s of the forests of oil derricks that dotted California’s beaches (before the hippies).

Huntington Beach

983906_10200913382744476_218561712_n 941963_10200913383184487_276434521_n 603424_10200913382264464_137539115_n 1940 staff file photo of oil wells along the beach in Huntington Beach.

Signal Hill Oil Field, led by none other than Rockefeller himself (Near Long Long Beach)




“Hidden” oil derricks across LA today (a process known as ‘urban drilling’)

Surprisingly, the internet holds little “official” information about the hidden derricks. Almost all of these pictures are from user blogs/submissions. How aware are LA residents of the oil drilling? I’d do some first-hand investigating, but I live on the East coast…any further efforts of citizen reporting would be ideal! 🙂

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Derrick on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, from which the school receives funding


(notice the gas vent on top of the light post)

Grissom Island: a man-man drilling island right off the coast of Long Beach

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Even for the LA residents who don’t mind all the drilling, these companies have been stealing oil right from under your property for decades using the process of slant drilling. 



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Filed under Historical Context, Interesting Stories, Journalism, Observation

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