The oil rig tower is scheduled to be in operation only for about six more months. After that, all the wells will be completed, and the tower will removed. Angus Petroleum officials say oil pumping could start in late August or early September.
In the meantime, Bodenbender said, the tower may prompt a few flashbacks. He noted that Huntington Beach once was an oil boom town, with drilling rigs and derricks throughout the city 70 years ago.
But little wonder, he added, that many current residents are baffled by the sight of the big oil rig. "There hasn't been a lot of drilling in our city for a long time," Bodenbender said.
Pooling Oil Assets
Angus Petroleum is introducing a pumping method that will revive the Huntington Beach Oil Field. Old pumps throughout the area will be replaced by one underground system, reducing noise and air pollution.
1. Running on Empty
When first drilled in the 1920s, gases trapped above the oil pool helped force the petroleum up wells. The gases escaped over time, leaving little pressure to push the remaining oil upward.
2. Flushing out the Field
By drilling new wells at an angle instead of straight down, pumps in one area can reach throughout the field to tap deposits. The oil is sent by pipeline to a Santa Fe Springs refinery.
3. More Land, Less Pollution
About 40 old pumps scattered among homes and businesses were removed, freeing up land and eliminating noise and air pollution. The newly drilled wells will be pumped from a central location.
Recovery wells pump oil to the surface. The injection method will increase the field's production from 300 barrels a day to about 2,500 barrels daily.
Injection wells use water to flush petroleum toward oil recovery wells. Faults help channel the oil flow. The flooding occurs below the area's water table, so contamination is not a problem. The water is recycled for injection.
* Typical directional well measurements Note: Drawings not to scale \o7 Source: Angus Petroleum\f7 Written by Danny Sullivan / Los Angeles Times