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Ventura County Review

Bush Oil Co. Reviving Field Off McGrath Beach

June 01, 1993|Jack Searles

Ventura County's oil production has fallen drastically in recent decades, but one independent--Taft-based Bush Oil Co.--is busy bringing back a once-dying field off the Ventura coast.

Bush has retooled four slant-drilled wells off McGrath State Beach, raising the wells' production from 25 barrels a day to more than 580 barrels daily.

Jerry V. Hoffman, president of Bush and its parent, Berry Petroleum Co., also based in Taft, said the firms plan to retool an additional three wells before year's end.

Ron Klarc, manager of the Bush operation, said that by the end of 1993, Bush could be producing 1,000 barrels a day in the McGrath work-over area, known as the West Montalvo field.

"We're very encouraged at the results to date," he said.

With oil production in Ventura County down about two-thirds from a peak of 50 million barrels a day in the 1950s, such majors as Texaco, Chevron, Mobil and Shell have either closed down or drastically reduced their operations in the county.

Industry observers say activity will never return to the levels of the past, but there's still money to be made restoring dormant wells.

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