Oil Production Program

The City of Huntington Beach has a long history of oil production. Much of the land in the city was formerly leased or owned by oil companies and small independent oil operators. Managing the city's oil production facilities and performing tasks related to oil code enforcement is the primary responsibility of the Fire Prevention.

The responsibilities of the Oil Production Program include the following:

Related Fire Department links include:

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the methane district?

The methane overlay district (“methane district”) http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/files/users/fire/MethaneDistricts_8_5X11.pdf includes areas of Huntington Beach that may have higher than normal methane gas hazards. Methane gas is a flammable gas and is naturally occurring as a by-product of decay. Methane is also generally associated with current and former oil production wells.

All proposed projects within the methane overlay district must be reviewed by the Fire Department. For more information, please see the following City Specifications:

What are building permit/construction requirements in the methane district?

The City of Huntington Beach strongly recommends not building structures over or near abounded oil wells or hydrocarbon contaminated soil. If abandoned wells can be proven safe and/or hydrocarbon contaminated soils conform to HB Soil Cleanup Standard 431-92 construction may be allowed at the discretion of the Fire Chief. The presence of abandoned wells and approved non-remediated soils shall be disclosed to future property owners.

Is there an abandoned oil well under my property?

You can check the approximate location of a well near your property by checking the California Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) Well Finder program.

The Fire Prevention Bureau may also be able to assist in the approximate location of abandoned wells. Contact (714) 536-5411 for more information.

I smell something that smells like gas. What can I do?

Natural gas odors can be many different things including natural and man-made. If you do not believe it is from a natural gas leak* - it may be from an infrequent phenomenon from an unknown source that the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is investigating. The Fire Department is aware of this issue, and we do not believe it is an immediate life safety issue. The Fire Department is working with AQMD to promptly report the issue when it occurs. It is important that affected citizens call 1-800-CUT-SMOG or use their online complaint tool to identify the location, time, and duration of the odor. An AQMD phone app is also available for reporting purposes.

With the AQMD continuing to receive complaints, they have increased their investigation efforts. In addition, the agency has created a detailed informational page on their website which provides the status of their investigation. You are encouraged to access this link for further details: http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/coastal-area-odor-complaint-response-information

Call 911 promptly if you suspect the gas odor is eminently dangerous to life or your property.

*If you believe there is a natural gas leak in your home or business, immediately evacuate the area and from a safe location, call Southern California Gas Company (1-800-427-2200).

Information for Oil Well Operators

Huntington Beach Oil Code

The Huntington Beach Oil Code can be found in Chapter 15 of the Huntington Beach Municipal Code.

Other Regulatory Agencies:

Well Abandonment

For well abandonment procedures, please see the following City Specification:

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Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
Fire Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5411
Fax: (714) 374-1551

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