Energy Leadership

As a leading California energy producer, California Resources Corporation (CRC) participates in multiple initiatives to advance California’s and global goals toward carbon neutrality in accordance with the Paris Climate Accord’s objective to limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Our premier project under our 2030 Carbon Sustainability Goal is our CalCapture carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project at Elk Hills, for which the Electric Power Research Institute is preparing a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study. In addition, CRC joined with major integrated energy companies in late 2019 in an ongoing initiative to develop a methodology to measure reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon intensity in the international oil and gas industry that could serve as a Science-Based Target under the Paris Accord. CRC also participates in multiple organizations focused on climate mitigation, such as the Fortune CEO Initiative for Climate-Centric Strategies.

CRC’s operations comprise tens of billions of dollars of private investment in our state over 20 years to meet Californians’ energy needs by acquiring and modernizing oil and natural gas fields with substantial resources and integrating these fields with electricity generation and infrastructure. These investments enable us to serve Californians both as the state’s largest oil and natural gas operator and as a net supplier of affordable, reliable electricity.

The advanced natural gas processing and electric generating plants at Elk Hills and in Long Beach are highly efficient, utilizing locally produced natural gas to generate electricity that powers our operations, and the Elk Hills Power Plant supplies the surrounding region with surplus electricity. In 2019, the Elk Hills Power Plant delivered nearly 2.5 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity to a local utility and California’s electric grid that can power over 350,000 homes – more than twice the total amount of electricity we purchased for our statewide operations. The integrated gas processing and power plants have also enabled our operations to dramatically expand our use of electric-powered equipment to increase efficiency and reduce air emissions. For example, CRC’s THUMS subsidiary is one of the leading users of electrical submersible pumps to produce oil from the Wilmington Field in Long Beach.

In 2019, the power plants at our Elk Hills and Wilmington Fields used local natural gas to generate 4.2 million MWh of electricity. We consumed 2.88 million MWh of electricity in our operations in 2019, meaning that we produced 45 percent more electricity than we consumed. Our investments in electricity generation demonstrate CRC’s commitment to making California more energy efficient and ensure that our operations increase affordable and reliable energy supplies for the communities where we live and work.

In 2019, we purchased 1.18 million MWh for our operations, primarily from Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Approximately 0.38 million MWh, or nearly 32 percent of our purchased electricity, comes from renewable sources. Although we primarily self-generate electricity using local natural gas, renewable sources comprised 13 percent of our total electricity consumption in 2019. The estimated 2019 breakdown of our purchased renewable electricity is as follows:

2019 State Renewable Power Mix

Solar 38.7%
Wind 32.1%
Geothermal 15.0%
Biomass 7.7%
Hydro 6.4%

Source: 2019 Total System Electric Generation, California Energy Commission.

The following table summarizes our electricity generation, supply to utilities and the state’s power grid, and our consumption of produced and purchased electricity from 2014 through 2019. The percentage of our purchased electricity from renewable sources increased by 61 percent since 2014.

Year Electricity produced onsite(MWh) Electricity supplied to utilities or the grid (MWh) Electricity consumed (MWh) Electricity produced and consumed onsite (MWh) Consumed electricity that is purchased (MWh) Purchased renewable electricity consumed (MWh) Percent of renewable electricity purchased
2014 4,413,300 2,849,339 2,216,437 1,563,961 1,152,938 132,387 20.3%
2015 4,399,867 2,589,118 2,477,272 1,810,749 1,138,815 145,969 21.9%
2016 3,733,766 2,254,069 2,892,176 1,479,697 1,412,479 359,476 25.5%
2017 4,322,867 2,401,220 2,985,065 1,814,496 1,170,569 339,465 29.0%
2018 4,297,442 2,366,156 2,983,357 1,832,105 1,151,252 361,033 31.4%
2019 4,308,580 2,495,738 2,876,690 1,690,450 1,186,240 376,038 31.7%

CRC’s energy leadership extends well beyond our service as a net electricity supplier to Californians. Our 2030 Sustainability Goals (JPG) for carbon, methane, water and renewables all relate directly to energy production at our oil and gas fields. In particular, our carbon goal is to design and permit CalCapture, the state’s first CCS system at Elk Hills by mid-decade. This project would capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the 550-megawatt Elk Hills Power Plant and inject that CO2 into underground oil formations, displacing remaining oil and permanently trapping CO2 deep underground – all while significantly extending the productive life of the Elk Hills Field. This project would reduce our statewide CO2 emissions by 30 percent, equivalent to the annual emissions of 250,000 cars. It would also cut in half the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the oil produced at Elk Hills Field, which is already among the lowest in the state, and put the Elk Hills Power Plant on a path toward becoming a carbon neutral source of base-load electricity for California.