Thursday, June 30, 2022
Culver City Council Plans to Assess Portion of Inglewood Oil Field
By Brian W. Carter, Contributing Writer
Published July 18, 2019

The portion of the oil fields that is Culver City is 10 percent of the whole area of the Inglewood Oil Fields Courtesy Photo

On Thursday, July 11, the Oil Drilling Subcommittee and Culver City staff hosted a community meeting to discuss and answer questions regarding the amortization study of the Culver City portion of the Inglewood Oil Field.

Culver City Mayor Sahli-Wells, city councilmembers and the subcommittee spoke to residents about the Culver City portion of the oil field. They addressed what amortization is and that the process would take time, but is necessary in gaining valuable information in moving forward.

“In its simplest terms, amortization is trying to figure out that point at which the value of investment equals the cumulative value of market return investment,” said Melanie Doran Traxler, Contract Project Manager.


After the information from the amortization process has been received, the city will then be able to move forward with a regulating process. For example, the report findings could call for the termination of non-conforming oil and gas uses.

“Preparing the study itself does not set that process into motion,” said Traxler. “It’s an informational study that will come back to the city council members and [they] will take that information, in consideration with that list of other information in earlier slides [presented] and determine the next steps for moving forward.”

The amortization will focus only on the Culver City portion of the Inglewood Oil Field. It was pointed out that parts of area are a part of unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and currently regulated by the Baldwin Hills Standard District (BHCSD). The portion of the oil fields that is Culver City is 10 percent of the whole area.

“The amortization  study will just add one more layered piece of information that will be available to consider the future direction,” said Traxler.

In May, the city council unanimously authorized consultant, Baker & O’Brien, to move forward with the preparation of an amortization study for the Culver City portion of the Inglewood Oil Field. Once completed, the amortization study, along with other information, will be considered by the City Council in discussions concerning the long-term uses within the Inglewood Oil Field.

Some of the community members present made points and asked questions about the amortization process. One member asked how can they amortize the existing oil reserves leased by one entity while the property may be owned by someone else and how would they be compensated? A member of the Citizens Coalition For A Safe Community asked how a still operating well, running at a residence in Culver City would be amortized? Another member of the community brought questions about an unknown conservancy, who allegedly bought up a lot of the land around the Culver City area of the oil field and if they were aware of the intentions with the land that was purchased.


In September 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that the Baldwin Hills community would be one of four communities selected for a new program to monitor air quality near oil and gas extraction facilities. This was just one of a series of meetings that have taken place involving the Baldwin Hills/Culver City community.

CARB’s presentations have included a general overview of the Study of Neighborhood Air Near Petroleum Sources (SNAPS) Program as well as discussion for potential sites to locate air monitoring equipment. Monitoring of neighborhoods near the Inglewood Oil Field is anticipated to begin in late 2019.

The amortization study will take up to six months to prepare and it was stated that gathering of information and other processes could extend the time period. When all the information and testing is done, it will all made available to the public. Public input received throughout a series of Baldwin Hills meetings will be critical to identifying parameters for the study that are important to the community members in this area.

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