In 1920, Oil was discovered in Huntington Beach. The Bolsa Chica Gun Club quickly signed an oil and gas lease with Standard Oil Company of California to gain permission to drill for oil. However, the lowlands were not drilled until 1940 when Signal Oil Company took over the lease. This led to the construction of raised service roads to allow access to the wells that are scattered throughout the lowlands. These service roads can still be seen today in the trails that span much of the southern half of the ecological reserve.