Offshore Oil Islands of Long Beach

The four man-made islands in Long Beach Harbor were developed to access the oil in the Wilmington Oil Field that runs betweeen San Pedro and Seal Beach

The facility formerly known as "THUMS" includes four man-made islands in Long Beach Harbor. The name "THUMS" was derived from the islands' original consortium of operators: Texaso, Humble, Unocal, Mobil, and Shell.

Naming the Islands
The islands are named after four astronauts who died in the line of duty during the early years of the United States space program: Freeman, Grissom, White, and Chaffee (Virgil I. Grissom, Ed White, Robert B. Chafee, Theaodore Freeman)

Appearance of the Islands
The islands were designed to camouflage drilling rigs and other above-groudn equipment and to make them as sound-proof as possible. Wellheads and pipelines are located below ground to enhance the islands' appearance.

More About the Long Beach Oil Islands
The four offshore oil islands were built in the 1960's. More then 1,450 oil wells have been drilled off Long Beach to access cruide oil deposits 2000 to 11,000 feet below the surface of the water. Some of those wells have been capped over the years but hundreds of them are still active, drawing up to 46,000 barrels of oil per day from the Wilmington Oil Field. Freeman Island is about 12 acres in size and the other three islands are each about 10 ares in size.

Photo of White Island
Article in Business Week Magazine about a visit to one of the off-shore Long Beach oil islands.

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