History about the Discovery of Oil on the Marina del Rey Peninsula – MDR Condos

The Discovery of Oil

by Jeffrey Stanton.


The discovery of oil at the beginning of the Depression, at a time when there was little disposable income for Venice’s amusement industry, brought the possibilities of untold wealth for the community. The Ohio Oil Company brought in a wildcat well on December 18, 1929 on county property just east of the Grand Canal at Avenue 35 (now Eastwind on the Marina Peninsula), only two blocks from the ocean. The well initially produced 3000 barrels a day of deep sand oil from a depth of 6199 feet. The company then asked for a zoning variance that would permit them to drill for oil within the city limits on the Venice Peninsula.

Oil wells were erected on both sides of the Venice canal south of Washington Street. – 1932 

The town’s excitement soon turned to oil fever. Parcels of land and mineral rights rapidly traded hands. Residents talked of nothing but oil and the money that could be made by having an oil well in one’s backyard. On January 9, 1930 a crowd of 2000 met with city officials at the old City Hall and demanded re-zoning to allow oil drilling. Nearly 95% of the residents were in favor of the change. Ocean Park residents weren’t so lucky since Santa Monica was against drilling.

Los Angeles city planners lifted the ban on January 28th, but were cautious and only allowed drilling south of Leona (Washington Street). They set up rules allowing a maximum of two wells per city block, then issued 15 permits. Two weeks later the city rubber stamped the permits.

Click here to view the entire article:  https://www.westland.net/venicehistory/articles/oil.htm 


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