prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Monday, April 21, 2014

(Waterflood 3) The Sinking City of Long Beach, California

An interesting item in working in the Wilmington Oil Field for LBOD was subsidence. Most of the production came from sands around 3000 feet deep. These sand were uncompacted (like beach sand) and when the fluids were produced from them the zone slumped. The grains of sand moved closer to each other.  A large area subsided.

The center of the subsidence was near the Terminal Island Navy Yard. A large part of the surrounding city was effected. Subsidence was as great as 28 feet in the center. The rate of subsidence reached 2 feet per year.

Notice the well heads high in the air. Notice the berm on the left to keep the sea out of the oilfield.

Poor Fido!

The Navy yard was sinking into the sea. The Navy filed a suit against the City of Long Beach and all the oil companies requesting that they stop production.  A long court hearing ensued with the following result. The oil companies would inject large quantities of water to keep the sand from slumping anymore. When I was working there the oil companies were injecting a million barrels of water per day. LBOD was injecting 400,000 barrels per day. Subsidence was stopped. A few areas even rebounded. 

This is a lot of water. Produced water was filtered and injected over and over. Production increased and the oil production increased back to the good old days. It was exciting. High pressure water from several pumping plants ran every where. It required a lot of production engineering to keep track of injection and production.

A leak in a high pressure water line caused a crater big enough to swallow several cars.

Life was exciting at home too. Daughters getting married. 

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