Oil spill blamed on old Echo Park well

ECHO PARK — The owner of a small oil well located amid homes and apartments on the southern edge of Echo Park said he has closed the site after as much as 40 barrels of oil spilled from the leaky well, reports The L.A. Times.

Officials investigating the incident on Firmin Street said none of the oil spilled beyond a containment area around the well but “harmful gases” might have been released.

The spill comes a year after state officials sealed off two abandoned wells on the same block. The so-called “orphan wells,” which were drilled more than a century ago, were detected after residents and property owners complained of a ‘rotten egg’ smell near the wells found in front yards.

The wells are part of the Los Angeles City Oil Field, which dates back to the 1890s. In fact, the southern fringe of Echo Park was once a forest of wood oil derricks.

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