Methane

Natural gas, or methane, is ubiquitous in nature and also a valuable product that is essential to California’s economy and Californians’ way of life. California Resources Corporation (CRC) devotes significant resources to produce clean natural gas, both in design and construction of new facilities and in retrofitting existing facilities, to minimize air emissions of methane. On January 1, 2017, California law established a statewide goal of reducing methane emissions by 40% from a 2013 baseline by 2030 under Senate Bill 1383. To demonstrate alignment with and advance the State’s goal, CRC established an even more aggressive 2030 Methane Sustainability Goal – to reduce methane emissions from our operations by 50% from the same 2013 baseline year set in SB 1383.

In 2018, CRC successfully surpassed our 2030 Methane Sustainability Goal, reducing methane emissions from our operations by 60% since 2013. Our 2018 emissions were verified by an independent expert, applying California’s specified emission factors and protocols. For more information, see our Reducing Methane Emissions (PDF) infographic.

CRC Decreased Methane Emissions 60% since 2013

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, Cthe California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a Methane Rule in 2017 requiring leak detection, controls and reporting for methane used in certain equipment. To support CARB’s methane reduction efforts and to advance CRC’s 2030 Methane Sustainability Goal, CRC implemented comprehensive inspection procedures at our fields and completed a separate project to replace certain natural gas-actuated pneumatic valves with alternatives that do not require the use of methane, such as solar powered air compression.