Preventing Releases

Preventing releases of oil and natural gas is a priority in all our operations. California Resources Corporation (CRC) has implemented automated process, pipeline and well monitoring and control systems to minimize the potential for releases and to rapidly detect and mitigate spills that occur. CRC's asset integrity program prioritizes facilities, pipelines and gathering lines for evaluation, inspection and maintenance, and focuses our investments to prevent corrosion, provide secondary containment, train operators on release prevention and response, and audit and inspect operations.

CRC also emphasizes the authority of our employees and contractors to shut down facilities, pipelines and wells safely to prevent a potential incident—without the need to first contact a supervisor. Together, these efforts have enabled our personnel to identify, report and promptly take steps to mitigate incidents, including those caused by third parties.

Oil Spill Prevention

Oil spill prevention is one of our Sustainability Metrics for environmental performance, and our operations have successfully reduced the net volume of crude oil and condensate released by over 75 percent since 2014. Our results reflect that our system is designed both to prevent releases and to promptly report, contain and mitigate those that occur.

CRC devotes significant resources to preventing spills through construction, maintenance and mechanical integrity programs. We were the first oil and natural gas exploration and production company in California to sign a statewide Project Labor Agreement with the California State Building and Construction Trades Council to ensure that our facilities are built and maintained by a highly-qualified California workforce. Our dedicated mechanical integrity team inspects and maintains our pipelines and facilities, which are also routinely assessed by internal and third-party risk engineers and audited by multiple regulatory agencies.

CRC also has a robust emergency response program, with a Communications Operations Center that is staffed 24 hours per day year-round to report and address medical, safety, security and environmental incidents and dispatch company personnel, environmental contractors and local emergency responders. We conduct regular table-top and full deployment drills in sensitive ecosystems near our operations in conjunction with federal, state and local emergency responders. CRC’s Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) and security professionals mobilize to such incidents, and aid local emergency responders in third-party events unrelated to our operations such as wildfires or vehicle accidents. Safety and environmental events are tracked consistently in CRC’s Knowledge Management System for reporting, investigation and resolution as well as continuous improvement.

CRC’s Environmental Sustainability Metric is our oil spill prevention rate, which compares the net volume of crude oil and condensate spilled in reportable releases outside of secondary containment that is not recovered in liquid form against our total production on a barrel of oil equivalent basis. We adopted this metric because it focuses on both prevention and rapid containment and mitigation of releases. It is important to note that the small amount of crude oil that is counted as “released” is actually contained in excavated soil that is removed and properly disposed to minimize any environmental effect.

From 2015 through 2019, CRC has successfully reduced the number of reportable spills and the net oil spilled by 39 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

CRC Maintains an Expemplary Oil Spill Prevention Rate

Note: Quantity of oil and condensate released from CRC operations outside of secondary containment in reportable releases and not recovered in liquid form.


Year Number of Reportable Releases Net Oil Released (bbl) Oil Spill Prevention Rate (%)
2015 41 177 99.9997
2016 29 60 99.99988
2017 17 46 99.9999
2018 9 192 99.9996
2019 23 134 99.9997

Waste Management

CRC’s operations maintain waste minimization plans to manage and reduce hazardous and non-hazardous waste, including from drilling and production activities and business offices. As noted on the Water Conservation page, the vast majority of our produced water is reused, recycled or reclaimed, rather than being disposed. Similarly, the company typically reuses drilling muds and returns chemical product containers to manufacturers for reuse. In addition, the company’s Sustainability Team champions our recycling programs at our plants, fields and offices and in community outreach efforts.