Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

1/12/2014

Another urban oil field story

Filed under: — stan @ 3:23 pm

Today’s bike ride was yet another installment in our continuing series of rides to explore the urban oil fields of Los Angeles. This time, it was to go see the Allenco Energy oil drilling island near USC. We were near there on our ride to see the Doheny Mansion and the location of the first oil well in Los Angeles. This time, we just wanted to go see the oil drilling operation there, since it’s been in the news recently. In particular, there were some stories in the Los Angeles Times about how people in the neighborhood complained about fumes from the oil field, so the EPA sent an inspector out to see, and the inspector became ill from the fumes. Oops.

The day started out with nice sunshine in Pasadena, and we headed south, on our way to downtown Los Angeles. And we promptly rode right into a fog bank. The fog persisted all the way to downtown, and it made for a nice picture of the Bunker Hill towers sticking up into the fog. Unfortunately, looking at the downtown skyscrapers is a bit sad for me right now. Since about Thanksgiving, I’ve been having back problems severe enough that I have trouble walking. Which is not good for climbing the stairs up 50-60 story buildings. The only good thing I can say is that it doesn’t hurt when I ride my bike, so at least that’s still good.

We came out of downtown and found the oil field on 23rd St. Like all oil fields in Los Angeles, it’s out of view, in this case, behind a high wall. The gate was closed, and it was basically impossible to see inside. But then I noticed that there was little hole so that someone with a key could reach inside to unlock the gate. It wasn’t possible to see in through this hole, but it was big enough that I could stick my and and camera inside and take a few pictures. So that’s how we got a view of the inside.

Continuing on, we passed the other oil drilling location on West Adams. Like the Allenco field we’d just seen, this one is also part of the Las Cienegas oil field. The fence around it had been recently raised. Maybe after all the bad publicity surrounding the first oil field, the owners of this one wanted to try and make it even harder to see inside.

Our snack stop was at Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont. After that, we headed home by was of 7th St, and then north through Echo Park and Silver Lake. It was a pleasant ride, even though the sun never really did come out again, and the oil field did in fact smell a bit sulfur-ish.

Here’s the route map: http://www.1134.org/routemap.php?xmlfile=allenco-oil-field

43 miles.

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