03 December 2008

Olinda Oil Field History: California Oil and Gas Report, 1917

In 1917, the State Oil and Gas Supervisor from the Department of Petroleum and Gas, State Mining Bureau issued his first annual report for the fiscal year of 1 July 1915 through 30 June 1916. A brief summary of the Olinda field was included and states:

The Olinda Field is located in the foothills on the north side of the La Habra Valley, between Soquel Cañon and Brea Cañon. It is now practically continuous with the Brea Cañon Field. There are 1100 acres of proven land with 395 completed wells of which 241 are producing and 100 are abandoned. In the month of June, 1916, there were 12 drilling wells, and production amounted to 220,000 bbls [barrels] per month.

As had been stated in other reports cited on this blog, the majority of this output came from the a geologic strata known as the "Fernando formation" with a relatively low degree of degrees of gravity, while that of the eastern end had a much higher quality of gravity and came from "Lower Puente shale." It was also stated that the field's geologic structure was "complex" given that there were two anticlines and a heavy degree of faulting and folding within the formations. Another notable feature of Olinda, discussed in other reports, but not mentioned thus far in the blog is the near absence of water in the higher, northern elevations and the significant concentrations of H2O down on the south side which enters the "La Habra Valley" continuation.

Elsewhere, a chart showed the existing producers in the field, with Union Oil Company having 30 wells completed; Columbia Oil having 54; Petroleum Development Corp, 71; General Petroleum, 34; Olinda Land Company, 17; West Coast Oil, 61; and Fullerton Oil, 12. Unfortunately, there were no photographic illustrations or good maps of the Olinda area provided with the report, so I'll include a detail from a period map that shows the field and the producing companies with well locations identified, as well.

Source: First Annual Report of the State Oil and Gas Supervisor of California for the Fiscal Year 1915-1916, Bulletin No. 73, R. P. McLaughlin (Sacramento: California State Printing Office,) 1917. Courtesy (as is the map) of the Homestead Museum.

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