Natural gas, or methane, is a valuable product that is essential to California’s economy and Californians’ way of life. California Resources Corporation (CRC) devotes significant resources to produce natural gas, both in design and construction of new facilities and in retrofitting existing facilities, to minimize air emissions of methane. CRC’s 2030 Sustainability Goal for methane requires a significant reduction in methane emissions compared to a 2013 baseline. The 2013 baseline was selected because it is the same year applied by the state as a baseline for its 2030 methane-reduction goal of 40 percent below the 2013 level.

Emissions of methane from CRC’s operations have decreased by nearly 29 percent from 2013 to 2016, estimated using California’s specified emission factors and protocols, and we are on track to achieve our 2030 Sustainability Goal for methane.


The vast majority of the natural gas we produce is either used to generate electricity by Elk Hills Power, LLC or other electricity producers or transported by utilities to California homes, schools, farms and businesses. Delivering natural gas to a utility or power plant customer typically requires processing facilities and pipelines. When processing facilities or pipelines or the customer’s power plant are not available, such as during maintenance, we flare natural gas under permits issued by regulatory agencies. Flaring is a safe process that combusts the natural gas and allows us to maintain wells and reservoirs at our fields in a steady state of operation. We seek to minimize flaring through technologies such as vapor recovery, microturbines and compressed natural gas (CNG) production. In 2016, for example, a third party discontinued its gas transmission pipeline service to one of our fields, preventing us from transporting our natural gas to our utility customers. Although we have a permit to flare the natural gas, CRC’s Sustainability Team worked diligently with another company to install a CNG operation at our field. This CNG process has both significantly reduced our flaring and generated a useful product that powers steam generation at another field.

As described in CRC’s 10-K, CARB has also issued a Methane Rule requiring leak detection and reporting for methane use in certain equipment, with additional controls required in future years. CRC is undertaking a project to replace certain gas-actuated pneumatic valves with alternatives that do not require the use of methane.