NEWPORT BEACH — As the city faces rising sea levels, aging sea walls and shallow waters that need dredging, Newport Beach officials want to squeeze money out of an unlikely source: its oil-rich land.
The city owns 16 aging wells — some are 60 years old — in West Newport that pumped about 30,000 barrels of Texas crude and netted about $1 million last fiscal year.
On Tuesday Mayor Mike Henn said he would like to find a way to boost their production.
Municipalities, however, don't typically take the same risks as oil exploration companies when it comes to drilling new wells and re-drilling existing ones. So Newport is considering partnering with a private operator that could invest in the operation and share profits with the city.