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ABSTRACT: An Example of Sequential Land Use Necessitating Mitigation: Well Abandonment in the Kraemer Oil Field, Yorba Linda, California

PHIPPS, MICHAEL B., JAMES E. SLOSSON, and E. C. SPROTTE, Slosson and Associates, Van Nuys, CA

In the early 1900s, great concentrations of petroleum were discovered within the Los Angeles basin and surrounding foothills. Most of the areas developed as oil fields had been used for watershed, grazing, agriculture, or limited urban development until the discovered "mineral value- exceeded any previous value. The Kraemer oil field in Yorba Linda provides an excellent example of such sequential land use. After experiencing relatively poor production throughout most of its operation, and more recently the encroachment of expanding urban development, the Kraemer oil field's real estate market value for housing far exceeded the mineral value. The hazards associated with improper oil field/well abandonment necessitated proper well abandonment prior to the the beginning of grading and si gle-family home construction. Prudent and redundant well abandonment procedures, in accordance with (and usually exceeding) the standards of the local jurisdiction and the California Division of Oil and Gas, were done to preclude the possibility of fluids and gases migrating upward. An abundance of case histories of hazardous conditions related to improper abandonment of wells and other field related conditions, including the recent methane gas explosions in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, provided both the background and impetus behind carrying out prudent well abandonment procedures. This was an attempt to prevent future hazards and permit safe urban development of an abandoned oil field.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91016©1992 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-EMD Pacific Section Meeting, Sacramento, California, April 27-May 1, 1992 (2009)