Controversial Los Angeles Urban Drilling Site to Close

Denver-based Sentinel Peak Resources (SPR) has notified City of Los Angeles officials that it intends to close down and transform an oil and gas drilling site in a working class neighborhood near the University of Southern California (USC) campus.

The privately held producer last year was ordered by Los Angeles officials to follow new, more stringent wellsite requirements, which SPR had challenged in a lawsuit.

Founded in 2016 by Quantum Energy Partners, SPR early last year acquired the site as part of its purchase of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.‘s California properties that at the time were producing 28,000 boe/d. The acquisition made SPR the fourth largest oil producer in California.

SPR has indicated it needs approval to modify the rules for operating on the site to begin the process of abandoning the wells, which is estimated to take up to three years. Many of the city’s current requirements, including building an enclosure around equipment, are “inconsistent” with the abandonment process, SPR officials said.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, city planning department officials have indicated a public hearing may be held and community input gathered regarding SPR’s plans. SPR has similar plans for another urban website a few miles away, which it wants to transform into affordable housing.

The Jefferson Boulevard site near USC covers about two acres and reportedly includes dozens of wells laid out in a U-shaped pattern that have been producing diminishing volumes of oil.

The urban wellsite was originally permitted in 1961.

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