Thursday's bubblin' crude incident in Atwater Village left a nasty, stinky mess and many residents wondering why in the world there was crude oil flowing through a pipeline underneath the neighborhood at all. Turns out, says KPCC, there are "tens of thousands of oil pipelines" running under Los Angeles, according to oil industry officials. It makes sense: we're a huge, oil-demanding city, we've long been a producer of oil, and there are secret (and not-secret) oil rigs scattered all over; how else would that oil get where it needs to go but through an intricate web of pipes? "In some parts of the city they are stacked like airplanes, one underneath each other. It's not unusual when we're digging to our pipeline to have to be real careful not to hit a pipeline above or below it," a pipeline consultant says.
And you have to be "real careful", because oil companies don't exactly want everyone to know where the oil's moving in this post-9/11 world, so it's not exactly public knowledge where they are. Equally difficult is determining how well-kept-up they are and how they're operated—both factors that can dramatically effect the likelihood of oil geysers in the streets.
· Atwater oil spill: There are thousands of oil pipelines all over LA [SCPR]
· Meet the Secret Oil Rigs Lurking in Our Malls, Schools, and Nondescript Office Buildings [Curbed LA]