--> --> Abstract: History of Development of the Wilmington Oil Field, by X. Colazas, R. Strehle, and D. Clarke; #90992 (1993).

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COLAZAS, XENOPHON, RICHARD STREHLE, and DONALD CLARKE, Department of Oil Properties, Long Beach, CA

ABSTRACT: History of Development of the Wilmington Oil Field

The Wilmington oil field was actually discovered on January 26, 1932 (when Ranger Petroleum Corporation completed the 2 Watson for 150 bbl/day of 14.1 degrees API crude), but until 1936 it was thought to be part of the Torrance oil field. In January 1936, General Petroleum Corporation completed the 1 Terminal well at 1350 bbl/day of 20.5 degrees API crude, and a drilling boom began. The field was soon extended offshore into the granted lands held by the city of Long Beach and eastward under the downtown area. By 1942, 1000 wells had been drilled.

Oil production from Wilmington resulted in a new problem. By 1945, the Long Beach Naval Shipyard had sunk 5 ft. From 1951 to 1952, the subsidence bowl was sinking at 2.4 ft/yr, and soon total subsidence reached 29 ft, covered an area of 22 mi2 and resulted in $100 million (in 1950 dollars) in damages to local facilities.

In 1952, an experimental water-injection program was begun and was found to stabilize subsidence and enhance oil production. Waterflooding expanded and, in 1962, the east Wilmington oil field was opened for development. THUMS Long Beach Company was selected to develop the new Long Beach Unit, and the first well was completed in April 1965. Four oil islands were built, and development proceeded. In 1990, ARCO Oil and Gas Company negotiated with the city of Long Beach and state of California to develop plans for an optimized waterflood. With approval of State Assembly Bill 227 in 1991, ARCO is proceeding with the reservoir optimization plan.Cumulative production for the Wilmington oil field exceeds 2.3 billion bbl, and current production is about 50,000 BOPD.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90992©1993 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Long Beach, California, May 5-7, 1993.