Programs

Community Development

End Neighborhood Drilling

Murphy Drill Site

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Hidden in Plain Sight

The Murphy Drill Site is located in a densely populated urban area, surrounded by residential homes, schools, healthcare facilities, and a senior living community. In 1958, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leased the land to Union Oil Company of California for oil and gas extraction. Today, the site is operated by E&B Natural Resources and holds 26 active wells and 6 idle or abandoned wells.

History of the Murphy Drill Site

  • 1958 The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leases the Murphy estate land to Union Oil Company of CA. 

  • Different operators take over the site across decades, with each transition leading to different violations.

    • 2004 Operators Bentley Simonson, Inc. fail to maintain equipment in good operating condition, resulting in a detected leak >50,000ppm.​

    • 2006 Operators Plains Exploration & Production Co. fail to produce documentation of hazardous waste during an LAFD inspection.

    • 2016 Operators Freeport McMoran and SoCal Gas are each cited with 13 notices to comply during a Fire, Life, & Safety Inspection.

    • 2018 Operators Sentinel Peak Resources are issued a notice of violation for lack of compliance with well abandonment protocol.

  • 2019-present E&B Natural Resources takes over, and is the current operator of the Murphy Drill Site.

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Since E&B Natural Resources has taken over as operator, the Murphy Drill Site has been cited with over 30 notices of violation or notices to comply. Residents often report noxious odors and noise coming from operations, and document weekly deliveries of hundreds of gallons of toxic chemicals.

Emission Leaks

In December 2019, just two months after E&B takes over as operators, two leaks are detected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Both measured to be greater than 50,000 parts per million, and allowing produced gas to be vented into the atmosphere.

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Community Action

In the spring of 2021, RCP and legal partners Earth Justice filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Fire Department for failing to properly plug idle wells at the drill site. Regulators were called to respond to community complaints and for lacking accountability in enforcing protective measures.

 

In the summer of 2021, RCP submitted a letter to the Office of Zoning Administration prompting a plan approval process to conduct a full review of E&B Natural Resources' operating conditions and compliance. A public hearing is scheduled to be held at the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Resources & Opportunities to Get Involved!

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Brochure

Public Education Materials

Public education brochure on the violations and chemicals used at the Murphy Drill Site.

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Health

Academic Studies

Peer-reviewed academic studies investigating health impacts of oil and gas activity near sensitive populations

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Health

Popular Education Reports

Reports produced and designed for the public to better understand the health and safety risks with close proximity to oil and gas activity

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Press Coverage

News & Publications

Links and copies of press coverage (news articles, news footage, magazine articles) of our work throughout the years on this important issue!

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Video

Jefferson Drill Documentary

Produced in 2015 capturing our first protest against the Jefferson Drill Site

Many thanks to our funders who make this work possible.

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