In another sign of trouble for one of Kern's largest oil producers, California Resources Corp. on Thursday posted a first quarter loss of $1.8 billion — 38 times more money than the company reported losing during the same three-month period last year.
Santa Clarita-based CRC said sales declined 17 percent to $573 million. But most of the quarterly loss came from a $1.74 billion "asset impairment," meaning it views some of its holdings as being worth less on the open market than the company paid for them.
CRC has struggled, as other oil producers have, with a sharp drop in oil prices during the first three months of the year. But on top of that the company has unique challenges stemming from almost $5 billion in debt left over from its 2014 spinoff from Texas-based Occidental Petroleum Corp.
CRC recently warned investors it may not survive if it's unable to work out a new deal with lenders to make up tens of millions of dollars in overdue interest payments that have been deferred until Tuesday.
The company said its average daily oil production during the first three months of the year averaged 77,000 barrels per day, an 8.3 percent decrease from a year prior. Sixty-one percent of that total came from the San Joaquin Basin, where average daily production was off almost 15 percent from the first quarter of 2019.
Its average daily natural gas production declined 9 percent company-wide to settle at 183 million cubic feet per day. The decrease in the San Joaquin Basin, responsible for 83 percent of its gas production, was a little less than 8 percent.
CRC's production of natural gas liquids, now done exclusively in the San Joaquin Basin, remained almost unchanged as compared with the first quarter of 2019 at 14,000 barrels per day.