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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Pacific Section of AAPG


Guide to the Geology and Oil Fields of the Los Angeles and Ventura Regions, 1958
Pages 37-50

The Los Angeles Basin Area, California

William F. Barbat


For its size, the Los Angeles Basin has proved to be one of the richest oil-producing areas in the world. It is taken as an example of optimum conditions in the “habitat of oil.”

The high productivity of this area may be governed by the following factors.

1. Ample deposition of organic material.

2. Adequate protection from chemical and biological destruction.

3. Ample load compression, particularly in the center of the basin, to squeeze entrapped fluids from the finegrained rocks.

4. Ample interfingering of carrier and reservoir sands of lateral persistence with the fine-grained rocks.

5. Available traps of considerable size near the margins of the basin to remove hydrocarbons from the fluids before they were expelled.

6. Relative geological youth of the area, absence of a long-standing load of superjacent rock and a single, moderate orogeny resulting in little post-depositional alteration of the sediments.

7. Absence of large-scale uplift and major erosion, with consequent preservation of reservoir fluids and pressures.

8. Intense exploration and development.

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