Santa Monica Bay Leaking Plugged Oil Wells in Redondo Beach?


What regulators are responsible for initiating an investigation into possible leaking plugged oil wells in Santa Monica Bay that have been ignored for almost 50 years?  These wells were drilled off of Redondo Beach in the mid 1950's and then capped.  How do we know the integrity of these wells are still intact?  It is well known that a capped or plugged well deteriorates and only lasts for 40 yeras.  What regulator in California is responsible for inspecting?  California Department of Conservation?


California’s Central Valley and Coast, there are many communities littered with abandoned oil and gas wells, buried underground and under the ocean.  Some of the wells were never plugged apparently and some may call this natural seepage.  Many of those that were plugged have since failed and are leaking oil, natural gas.  This issue has been largely ignored. Oil and gas wells continue to be permitted without consideration for failing and failed plugged wells. When leaking wells are found, often nothing is done to fix the issue because there are so many issues.

Another community that is being ignore is Santa Monica Bay and the surrounding beach cities of Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and Palos Verdes where tar balls and oil wash up on the beach frequently. The locals report seeing oil and the beaches since the 1970's and just claim it as natural seepage.  However, many of these wells were plugged in the 50's and 60's and have never inspected since.  How do we know they are not leaking and causing all of the oil to wash along the beaches each year.  It often gets reported by the "Drive By Media" and never gets investigated.  See this example below.

I have been paddling in the ocean for almost 15 years and always notice oil sheen on the water just off the Redondo Beach break-wall very close to where Phillips Petroleum abandoned wells (now owned by Conocophillipos) are located.  Anyone who paddles in the ocean will tell you its a common occurrence to see oil in the ocean near these pins in the map (see map below).

Everyone I talk with who grew up in the South Bay claims that the oil here is "natural seepage".  I am am skeptical of this theory as I have never seen any documentation, videos or photographs of the ocean floor at this location proving that it is natural seepage.  I do know there were wells drilled here almost 50+ years ago and they have never been inspected according to Doggr oil well records.

Another problem with steaming wells nearby inland, is that there's a chance steam will make its way through uncharted channels underground before coming to the surface in an area not outfitted to receive oil.  Here is an example of Chevron resealing and abandoned oil well from only in 2004 which caused a major oil spill in Bakersfield.  How do we know this isn't also happening here in the South Bay?

Leaking Plugged Oil Wells in Ocean Off Redondo Beach Break-Wall


Several articles have been published in the but they are all misleading that the oil is coming from a deep trench and it is natural seepage.  
"Boaters are paddlers know from experience the fault lies in the 700 foot-deep Redondo Canyon."  
This quote is simply not true which is published in the above article.  

Map of Oil Wells & Oil Seepage Near Redondo Beach Break-Wall

Strava paddle in ocean to leaking oil wells off Redondo Beach
Here is my paddle route today on July 24, 2019

Use This Google Map to Go Visit These Locations on a Boat or Paddleboard

Map of Distances of Abandoned Oil Wells Off Of Redondo Beach Break-Wall 

We have also noticed that every earthquake we have in Southern California seems to trigger even more oil on the beach.  Since the recent large earthquakes in Ridgecrest we have seen an increase of oil on the beach up and down the coast.

Here is the problem that we see.  Wells plugged prior to 1953 are not considered effective, even by industry standards. Prior to 1950, wells either were orphaned or plugged and abandoned with very little cement. Plugging was focused on protecting the oil reservoirs from rain infiltration rather than to “confine oil, gas and water in the strata in which they are found and prevent them from escaping into other strata.” Of the wells with drilling dates in the regulatory data, 30% are listed as having been drilled prior to the use of cement in well plugging. With a total of over 245,000 wells in the state database, and considering the lack of monitoring prior to 1950, it’s reasonable to assume there are over 80,000 improperly plugged and unplugged wells in California.

Conoco Phillips plugged oil wells

plugged oil well conoco phillips santa monica bay

plugged oil well conoco phillips santa monica bay
plugged oil well conoco phillips santa monica bay


Tar Balls on Beach

West High School Oil Drilling
Closest Active Drilling Location is at West High School Torrance