February 5, 2018

The hidden oil wells of L.A.

I wouldn't say these 4 designs are that clever or amusing, but you wouldn't think you were looking at an oil well.

22 comments:

Unknown said...

The THUMS islands off the coast of Long Beach, CA are another amazing job of hiding drilling rigs and production facilities in plain sight. THUMS stood for Texaco, Humble, Unocal, Mobil and Shell, the original partners in the field, and the islands are named after Apollo astronauts.

Chuck said...

That one at Beverly Hills H.S.; it was none other than Erin Brockovich, fresh off her namesake movie, who helped lead the lawfare fight against the oil well.

As with all things Erin Brockovich, her legal case was bullshit. But the publicity for self-promotion was totally fanstastic.

Ten years ago, from the great Walter Olson:
https://www.overlawyered.com/2007/11/update-erin-brockovich-vs-beverly-hills-high-school/

Art in LA said...

My hometown! I'm sure somebody has done an article of "the hidden cell phone towers of L.A." by now. Now those are hilarious ...

Art in LA said...

Here's one on LA cell towers ... https://la.curbed.com/2013/7/8/10222828/getting-a-better-look-at-las-many-fake-tree-cell-towers

Humperdink said...

Waiting for the AGW crowd to hide the ghastly visual pollution they forced upon us. The wind farms littered across the west. Maybe a camo dirigible airship. Or an oxy-acetylene torch.

Unknown said...

LA was an oil town long before the movie biz came to town. I worked as a consultant for a startup in Houston that planned to set up geophone stations for seismic measurements back in the early 90s, a no brainr since we were using natural seismic events and LA is in california.

Kyzernick said...

Art in LA:

My former company used to put up towers like that all the time. We had many methods of camouflaging them - we called them "Stealth towers". Frankenpines, Frankenpalms, and some really funky designs that we'd put on buildings that looked like they totally belonged there, or were undetectable from all but a few viewing angles.

My favorite was a type that we installed in parking lots - started as a one-off design but ended up becoming a whole batch run. Frankenficus. I doubt that one fooled many people. Used mainly outside of stadiums to add local capacity because they weren't very tall, so LOS was limited.

buwaya said...

Harder to hide the smell I think.

Bay Area Guy said...

More oil, less Prius drivers.

madAsHell said...

Interesting. They always tell you that there is no more production from the LA basin, but it's really because they hide the oil derricks.

Fritz said...

I grew up in West LA. There were active wells scattered around the area, not disguised at all, with a big field in the Baldwin Hills. Some were on lots right on main streets. My parents owned a house in Culver City, and they got a small check monthly for oil that was pumped out from under their house from the Baldwin Hills field.

Virgil Hilts said...

That reminds me of the neighborhood pump stations that are disguised to look like homes. http://wunc.org/post/video-whats-inside-house-wade-avenue#stream/0

Art in LA said...

@Kyzernick ... I think the pines and palms are the most common stealth cell towers. I'd love to see a fake ficus one! Do you have any pics? My son and I were driving to Vegas the other weekend and there was a row of Frankenpalms with little red aircraft warning lights on top ... sort of makes sense around Christmas time, but we were deep into January already.

Bay Area Guy said...

If you drive North on La Cienega from LAX, you see all the oil derricks.

traditionalguy said...

Those wells look Marhvelous. It's not how they pump, it's how they look in LA.

Jack Wayne said...

If you want an eye-opener, search for the underground drilling and pipelines that connect the few wells and pumping stations in the field. The potential for a leak is huge and all on the dime of the greens.

Josephbleau said...

There is even a place there called the La Brea tar pits, where they leave the toxic goo out in the open for everyone to look at.

Lance said...

There are thousands of active oil wells in the L.A. area. Most of the pumpjacks and derricks operate in plain sight. This Atlantic article from 2014 shows many of them. It also shows additional photos of some of the "hidden" ones, only with wider angle shots that shows the context.

Lance said...

@Josephbleau the asphalt at La Brea forms from oil that seeps naturally from the ground. Oil has been seeping there for thousands of years. It's 100% natural.

Howard said...

That's not a well completion, it's a work-over rig. Also, it's proly over several wells drilled in all directions.

EDH said...

"The hidden oil wells of L.A."

An apt metaphor for all manner of secret activity in Hollywood.

Kyzernick said...

@ Art in LA
No, all the pics and schematics I had were still on my corporate laptop when I returned it after finding a different job. I lost a lot of interesting pics when I turned in that laptop, including about 2 dozen pics from the tops of towers that various technicians sent me over the years. Some of the views were spectacular.