Local News in Brief : Torrance Oil Project OKd by Commission

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Over the objections of worried homeowners, the Torrance Planning Commission unanimously approved a little-known company’s plan to extract 27 million barrels of oil from beneath a southeast Torrance neighborhood.

The commission’s approval of the Kelt Energy project is certain to be appealed to the City Council.

The Planning Commission attached 95 conditions to its approval, including a requirement the company prove it has adequate insurance, performance bonds, financial resources and assets to protect the city and homeowners if any problems develop during the 30-year project.


Kelt plans to drill 108 slanted wells from a 2.2-acre site, with the diagonal wells extending under a 560-acre area.

The area is an oil field that has already been tapped by standard drilling and pumping methods. To force out the remaining oil, salty water from deep underground would be pumped into some of the wells, known as “injection wells.” That would force the remaining oil toward “recovery wells,” which would be used to bring the oil to the surface.