The Culver City Dog Park has been closed since Sept. 28 as a result of a small methane and water leak discovered by the City of Culver City. This leak was subsequently reported to Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP). PXP assessed the situation and determined the leak was occurring on the Block #1 well.
Although Atlantic Oil Company serves as the legal owner of the Block #1 well, PXP has volunteered to bear the expected $200,000 in costs to re-abandon that well. PXP began its work to re-abandon the well on November 1, 2010, and it is anticipated that the remediation work for the Block #1 well will be completed by Nov. 28.
As part of PXP’s work to remediate the Block #1 well, PXP also conducted an evaluation of the other abandoned wells within the boundaries of the Culver City Dog Park. After an assessment of the site, PXP concluded it would be beneficial to perform a re-abandonment effort of the Smith #5 well in addition to the work being performed on Block #1 well. The Smith #5 well was originally owned by the Block Oil Company and was abandoned in 1929. While the Smith #5 well does not pose an imminent threat to leakage or present a danger to life, health, property, or natural resources, its condition would be improved if it could be upgraded to current Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resource (DOGGR) abandonment standards.
City staff supports PXP’s decision to re-abandon the Smith #5 well at this time. Doingso would help to ensure that there are no future problems resulting from this well which could potentially impact the operation of the Dog Park and oil field operations in the surrounding area. Since the Dog Park is already closed, and PXP already has the necessary equipment mobilized on site, re-abandoning the Smith #5 well at this time is a prudent thing to do.
PXP has provided a draft Entry Agreement to the City of Culver City to allow for the additional work on the Smith #5 well; the Entry Agreement is presently under review by City staff. The remediation of the second well is expected to extend the closure of the Dog Park by several weeks.
The City of Culver City will continue to provide updates on the work being performed at the Culver City Dog Park as they become available. Additional questions regarding this matter may be directed to Charles D. Herbertson, Public Works Director/City Engineer at (310) 253-5600.