Bakersfield · Business

Major Kern oil producer posts $1.8bil Q1 loss as bankruptcy worries mount

California Resources Corp. – one of the largest oil producers in Kern County – posted a large first quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic has impacted energy companies. . 

The Santa Clarita-based oil company posted a $1.8 billion loss, which is 38 times worse than the same period last year. 

Sales declined 17% to $573 million, although the majority of the loss came from a $1.74 billion asset impairment, which means market value of the assets is less than what CRC paid for them. 

In addition to the pandemic-related woes, CRC has about $5 billion in debt from the 2014 stock spinoff from Occidental Petroleum. 

If CRC cannot come together with lenders on a new deal to cover tens of millions of dollars in overdue interest payments, the company might have to file for bankruptcy. 

CRC has seen its daily production slip. Oil production during the first quarter has decreased 8.3% from the year before to total 77,000 barrels per day, and the daily production in the Central Valley was down 15%. 

Daily natural gas production has decreased 9% to 183 million cubic feet per day, while production in the Central Valley saw an 8% hit. 

The production of natural gas liquids sat around 14,000 barrels per day in the quarter, similar to 2019’s performance.

The San Joaquin Valley Sun
Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.