California Travel Tips

Roughnecks Honored in Signal Hill, Calif., Still an Oil Producer!

Published on: April 21, 2012

When the first strike was discovered in  1920, Signal Hill, Calif. was several years from incorporation, and locals had yet to realize they were capturing one of the richest oil fields in North America. What a find! Oil is still being pumped today.  Statues,  murals, and parks dedicated to Signal Hill’s oil heritage include a sculpture by Cindy Jackson called, “Tribute to the Roughnecks”.  To honor the courageous men and women who have been a part of the oil fields of Signal Hill, a depiction represents several prominent oil men Jerrel C. Barto and Bruce Kerr (left photo.) Though there’s no official oil museum, a tour of the small city of Signal Hill and view from the top is a worthy stop (especially on a clear day) to learn about this unique place and its interesting history.

At City Hall (right photo) a miniature green oil derrick commemorates the discovery of oil in Signal Hill:

  • June 21, 1920 Discovery Well, by Shell Oil Company
  • From 1920 to 1948 it produced 687,000 Bbls. at a depth of 3114 feet
  • 1680 wells have been drilled in Signal Hill
  • 1109 wells still producing
  • Bbls. produced to date: 724,447,000
  • Oil zones from 1800 to 11,800 feet
  • Largest well 12,000 bbls. per day


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