Joseph Philipson Visual Journalism661.727.4057

Hidden Oil

Behind this classically Californian Cadillac is a facade, keeping oil pumps hidden and forgotten from the public eye. (You can see the spacing in the bricks to keep the building ventilated.) Officially, these derricks are not supposed to emit any odors or chemicals, but there always seems to be the sharp smell of oil in the air. In an LA Times article a few years ago it was reported that old wells were rarely inspected and can still leak fumes, even after drilling has completed and the wells have been covered with cement. Some of these wells in early LA history were not recorded on maps leaving homes and businesses to be built on top of old leaking wells. As of 2014, there were 5,700 active oil wells in LA county. In a count conducted by a local non-profit, it was found that approximately 3.5 million residents live within one mile of an active oil or gas well. That’s 1 in 3 people. In a 2016 survey of the states twelve storage fields, 229 across and inactive wells were found to be leaking. In Aliso Canyon, Sixty-six more wells were found to be leaking 110,000 pounds of methane an hour, prompting an evacuation of all residents for four months while crews worked on stopping the leak. This one instance was estimated to have accounted for 25% of California’s emissions for the year.
In yet another reveal, behind this building is Beverly Hills High school’s athletic field, where 1500 students attended classes and play softball and run track. There are 19 oil wells here producing 4-500 barrels a day, earning the school $300,000 a year in royalties.
#LAhiddenoil #la #oilindustry #laoil 🖖If you find this interesting and would like to learn more, let me know in the comments. 👇