Monday, November 28, 2005

Urban Oil Wells back in Style

With the cost of oil rising faster than that of real estate in Southern California (I know it is hard to believe), the urban oil well is making a resurgence.

In recent months, "we've had companies putting 45-year-old wells back into production," said Rock Zierman, spokesman for the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Southern California has about 4,000 active oil wells, down from a peak of 33,000. About 3,000 wells are abandoned statewide but that number could drop to zero, predicted Iraj Ershagi, director of the petroleum engineering program at the University of Southern California.

Many of the wells were abandoned too soon, he said.