Ask Chris: Orange Hydrocarbon Fairy

The big flame marks the spot for oil

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Q: Do you know the source of the big flame along the 101 freeway near La Conchita? It appears to be lit all the time.

A: Running from the mountains to the sea, the Rincon Oil field has been dispensing black gold for 85 years. The deposit was discovered just six months after the last Model T was built, and the pump jacks are still delivering crude down the M-143 pipeline to L.A. refineries. The flame at the tip of the smokestack, or “flare-off” in oil biz parlance, is natural gas waste matter that’s being burned off.  

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Comments

  1. Stanley Green

    June 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Why is flammable energy from oil fields and refineries allowed to burn with no pollution control and no productive energy capture?