The 2.25 square mile city of Signal Hill lies within the Long Beach Oil Field. The City’s legacy of oil production began in 1919 when oil was first discovered. The Long Beach Field is termed a mega giant field. It is the eighth-largest by cumulative production in California, and although now largely depleted, still officially retains around 5 million barrels of recoverable oil.
The field was enormously productive in the 1920s, with hundreds of oil derricks covering Signal Hill and adjacent parts of Long Beach. Even with the dramatic land use changes over the decades since its discovery, it remains moderately productive, with oil wells and oilfield infrastructure intermixed with commercial and residential development.