102nd Annual Meeting of the Cordilleran Section, GSA, 81st Annual Meeting of the Pacific Section, AAPG, and the Western Regional Meeting of the Alaska Section, SPE (810 May 2006)
Paper No. 4-1
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM-8:40 AM

THE EUREKA CANYON OIL FIELD: A CASE HISTORY

HESSON, Bruce H., bhesson@consrv.ca.gov

The Eureka Canyon oil field is one of the oldest in Ventura County, California, discovered in 1893 due to the presence of natural oil seeps. The field is located near the City of Piru, south of State Highway 126 and the Santa Clara River, with the wells located in two canyons named Smith and Eureka. Comprising approximately 920 acres, 112 wells have been drilled in this field with many of them drilled using cable tool rigs. T.E.G. Oil & Gas USA, Inc. (TEG) currently produces 16 barrels of oil per day from eight wells in Smith Canyon, with production from the Miocene formation found at an average depth of 1,800 feet. Due to marginal production, all the wells in the Eureka Canyon area of the field were abandoned or left orphaned when the last operators of record became defunct. Some of these wells are in a remote, steeply sloped, area of Eureka Canyon that became inaccessible over time due to dense growth of chaparral.

Wild fires rampaged through Ventura County in October 2003, impacting 24 oil fields,including Eureka Canyon. While conducting field inspections following the fires to assess damage and during subsequent well work, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Division) located and identified seventeen previously inaccessible orphan wells, thirteen without wellheads. As a safety and spill prevention measure the Division secured these wells. Record rainfall in 2005 washed out lease roads and compromised some of the well locations due to mud and rockslides. With TEG not interested in acquiring these orphan wells the Division contracted to have them, and a total of 23 orphan wells in the Eureka Canyon oil field, permanently plugged and abandoned. This paper will present a brief field history and the Division's efforts to locate, identify, secure, and abandon these wells.

102nd Annual Meeting of the Cordilleran Section, GSA, 81st Annual Meeting of the Pacific Section, AAPG, and the Western Regional Meeting of the Alaska Section, SPE (810 May 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 4
AAPG/SPE: New Development and Field Case Histories
Anchorage Hilton Hotel: Aspen/Spruce
8:20 AM-11:00 AM, Monday, 8 May 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 5, p. 6

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