San Joaquin Basin

Approximately 72 percent of California Resources Corporation’s (CRC) estimated proved reserves as of year-end 2020 are located in the San Joaquin Basin. We actively operate and develop 44 fields in this basin consisting of conventional primary, improved oil recovery, enhanced oil recovery and unconventional project types. We hold approximately 1.3 million net mineral acres in the San Joaquin Basin, approximately 73 percent of which we hold in fee.

According to the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), approximately 75 percent of California’s daily oil production for 2018 was produced in the San Joaquin Basin. Commercial petroleum development began in the basin in the late 1800s when asphalt deposits were mined and shallow wells were hand dug and drilled in the Coalinga, McKittrick and Kern River areas. Rapid discovery of many of the largest oil accumulations followed during the next several decades, including the Elk Hills Field. Most discovered oil accumulations occur in Eocene-age through Pleistocene-age sedimentary sections. Source rocks are organic-rich shales from the Monterey, Kreyenhagen and Tumey formations.

We operate several of the largest existing fields in the San Joaquin Basin, including Elk Hills, our largest producing field, as well as the Buena Vista and Coles Levee fields, which have primary and waterflood production. Due to complex stratigraphy and structure in the San Joaquin Basin with stacked hydrocarbon pay zones, these mammoth fields are thought to hold considerable oil in place in stratigraphic and structural traps. We believe our extensive 3D seismic library, which covers nearly 1,250 square miles in the San Joaquin Basin – approximately half our mineral acreage in the basin – gives us a competitive advantage in exploration and development.

Thermal enhanced oil recovery was pioneered in the San Joaquin Basin in the 1960s, and CRC operates a prolific steamflood in the Kern Front Field. In addition to significant oil production, CRC recycles the produced water from Kern Front for reuse in steam generation and reclaims surplus produced water for beneficial use by agricultural water districts, making our company a net water supplier.

In 2020, CRC supplied more than 4.6 billion gallons of treated, reclaimed water for agricultural water districts – nearly double the amount we supplied in 2015. For every gallon of fresh water CRC purchased in 2020, we delivered nearly three gallons of reclaimed water for agriculture. This water helps sustain thousands of acres of productive farmland and associated farmworker jobs. Sustaining our net water supply to agriculture is an annual compensation metric for CRC employees, and increasing our total volume of recycled produced water is a core component of CRC’s 2030 Sustainability Goals.