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.”