West Coyote Oil Field

Not too long ago, I was perpetrating an erect herb extraction operation (aka, rummaging up some lunch) with extreme prejudice, per my ordinary course of deep cover dealings, over on the other side of the Orange Curtain.

First, you’ll need some appropriate background music. The Man Who Sold the World seems about right.

Until I noticed this lovely dedication plaque provided by Chevron Corportion and the Orange County Historical Commission…

… I didn’t even know that the coordinates of my lunch situs were precisely those of West Coyote Field, a place where… never mind, here’s the transcribed text from the plaque:

WEST COYOTE FIELD, MURPHY-COYOTE DISCOVERY SITE,
THE LA HABRA RESEARCH LABORATORY

This site is on the northern edge of the West Coyote Oil Field, one of the largest fields in the Los Angeles Basin. Oil was discovered nearby in 1904, after being predicted by Murphy Oil Company geologist, William Plotts. Standard Oil Company began acquiring property in the area in 1912. The field produced about 250 million barrels of oil from sandstone at a depth of about 3,000 feet until abandonment in 1996. West Coyote was one of the foundations of the oil industry in Southern California, playing a significant role in the early history of Orange County, the City of La Habra, and the Chevron Corporation.

Near this site, Chevron operated its La Habra Research Laboratory from 1947-1999. The personnel who worked here made a number of important contributions to mankind’s knowledge of geophysics, oil recovery processes, geology, and engineering, and they brought international scientific recognition to La Habra.

This monument’s base is a diatomaceous shale from the Miocene Monterey Formation, one of the most important geologic formations to California’s petroleum industry. It is rich in organic material and therefore a source of petroleum, and, where fractured (as in this example), is a good reservoir for the collection of oil. Oil and gas fields associated with this formation occur both onshore and offshore in California.

Historical Site No. 47
Orange County Board of Supervisors
Orange County Historical Commission

Dedicated October 11, 2000,
by Chevron Corportion and the Orange County Historical Commission


It took 92 years to extract 250,000,000 barrels of oil from the West Coyote Oil Field. As a point of comparison, 250,000 barrels of oil tumbled out of the Exxon Valdez in probably just a few days.

According to this Times Online article,

“BP is charged with raising the bar at Rumaila [a single oil field in Iraq] and by 2016 it expects output to reach a plateau of 2.8 million bpd, a level greater than the present output of every Opec state except Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

“Others have joined the drilling frenzy. Shell, ExxonMobil, Italy’s Eni and Statoil of Norway are working alongside Russia’s Lukoil and Petronas, the Malaysian company, and this month CNOOC, the Chinese state oil company, put its shoulders behind Iraq’s oil reconstruction. The total potential is about 12 million bpd by 2016, equal to existing estimates of Saudi Arabia at maximum throttle.”

I love this last paragraph from the article…

“The question is how Opec will bring Iraq back into the fold. Unless global demand for crude soars over the next five years, big cuts in the output of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states will be needed to accommodate it.”

This entry was posted by Bunn Bunn.

21 thoughts on “West Coyote Oil Field

  1. It took 92 years to extract 250,000,000 barrels of oil from the West Coyote Oil Field. As a point of comparison, 250,000 barrels of oil tumbled out of the Exxon Valdez in probably just a few days.

    it’s called progress.

  2. Bunn, that last paragraph is either an ignorant or strawman argument, as depletion of those ME giants will more than make up for such an increase in Iraq’s output. Iraq might buy us some moron time for go-go capitalism, BAU good times to roll. Then what?

  3. And, they should have added to the plaque, “Now this place is back to being just another weed-coved field, but one with a bronze plaque in it”.

  4. BAU good times to roll. Then what?

    I don’t know, Dr. Doom, but Jimbo did a really excellent podcast a few weeks back on Brutalism. Perhaps his low point was the roadtrip through Rochester stream of consciousness episide. Bif will concur I sure.

  5. Maybe there will someday be a plaque attached to a bouy out in Mississippi Canyon.

    MACONDO PROSPECT
    “LUCIFER’S RECTUM”

    At this location in 2010, men of science succeeded in puncturing the bowels of Hell, unleashing the oily excrement of the demon Himself, and spewing five million barrels and an equal volume of flatulence over a nine month period. The evil sphincter of the black abyss was finally plugged in 2011, but not before ushering in the dawn of the techno-cataclysm itself, and the scream of the banshees lasting four score and twenty years and ending in a wimper. God forgive them all. Go Celtics.

    Historical Site No. 666

    Dedicated October 11, 2092,
    His Holiness, Rufus P. Bottoms, Supreme Reverend
    The Theocratic State of New Dixitopia

  6. “big cuts in the output of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states will be needed to accommodate it.”

    It is a heck of a statement. Spoken as if its a fact too. Cuts will be needed. Big cuts!

  7. Bif, you truly missed your calling as a writer of dedication plaques. Very impressive. No, I mean this howitzer-to-a-knife-fight dropping is like lighting yourself on fire and running around in circles outside a grocery store to help the local girl scouts sell a few extra boxes of the Thin Mints.

    How the stinkin’ Celtics end up as future heroes in New Dixitopia has got me scratchin my head a bit… I’m sure a coherent explanation will be provided by thal in due course.

  8. Whenever a pack of coyotes passes through the neighborhood, all the local domesticated canines go berserk. Sometimes they howl along with the coyotes — then again, they howl along with fire truck sirens too.

    More often, Homey’s dogs are probably simply on high alert in response to taunts by wise-ass coyotes, which probably go something like:

    “To all of you piteous domesticated imprisoned cowering curs, let our cries proclaim — beginning on this very night — that the streets of your masters’ suburban mightmarescape shall run red with the noxious unworthy blood of the flabby dumbed-down domesticated Labrador Retriever and rise to submerge the designer collars of all who have ever sniffed its loathsome butt. We’re serious this time. (long pause) Boo!”

  9. Seems kind of weird to put an historic marker on an old depleted wellfield. On the other hand, it would be interesting if they researched and then listed out the main uses of the oil that came from the West Coyote Oil Field. That might be something to reflect upon. Like how much of it was used for beating the Japs in WWII, or maybe what countries did we export it to, and who made the most money and built the biggest mansions?

  10. Hey. Go Celts. I’m excited for the finals. I hope it goes to a seventh game and double overtime.

  11. What’s all this on the TV news shows about BP having 768 safety violations in three years and Exxon having only one. I don’t believe it. What the hell kind of black swan is this anyway?

    Not only that but its been a bankers holiday ever since the oil companies stole the show and are taking the wrath. Maybe everyone needed a break from hating the banks. Plenty of time for that later I guess.

  12. “On the other hand, it would be interesting if they researched and then listed out the main uses of the oil that came from the West Coyote Oil Field”

    OK, I know what happened to the Comstock Lode, a huge silver and gold strike in Virginia City, NV. They hit it in the 1850s, the the US government spent just about all of it on war materiale, gave it all to Europe.

    Pissed it all away fighting each other.

  13. Bunn, you’re reminding me of something I once read in “Fastfood Nation”, about the founder of Carls Jr. burger chain. The FN author was visiting the founder (Carl Sr.?) in his high-rise office in the Anaheim-Tustin area, near Knott’s Berry Farm, now a bustling metro area. The founder looks out his office window and proclaims, “when I first came here, this was nothing but orange groves”.

    Progress.

  14. “Preliminary estimates show crippling job loss and significant economic impacts will result from the President’s recent order to halt work on 33 exploratory wells in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and institute a six-month moratorium on all drilling in water depths greater than 500 feet.”

    “For each platform idled by the work stoppage, up to 1,400 jobs are at risk, and lost wages could reach $10 million per month per platform and up to $330 million per month for all 33 platforms, preliminary estimates from the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) show.”

    http://www.noia.org/website/article.asp?id=38561

    Everybody happy?

  15. The President is a Political Hack. Wish I had voted for McCain, instead, and his Neo-Nazi side-kick…

  16. re: “I didn’t even know that the coordinates of my lunch situs were precisely those of West Coyote Field” … am interested in locating the aforementioned plaque. spotted the one in the chevron car wash planter, but think yours resides nearby. hint please.

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