Kern County leads the state in oil and natural gas production. Kern County produces approximately 75% of California’s in-state oil and about 58% of the state’s total natural gas. Kern County’s Elk Hills field is the state’s top natural gas producer. Two other fields, South Belridge and Lost Hills, rank in the state’s top 5 for gas production. The state’s top five oil producing fields — Midway-Sunset, South Belridge, Kern River, Cymric, and Elk Hills — are located in Kern County. Three of these fields – Midway-Sunset, South Belridge and Kern River - are ranked in the top 10 producing oil fields in the nation. If Kern County were a state it would rank fourth in oil production (see chart).
Thermal-enhanced oil recovery, using technology developed here and exported worldwide, accounts for nearly 52% of Kern’s oil production.
Refinery operations range from large full-scale processes to smaller, specialty facilities that produce many refined products.
Kern County has 37 high-efficiency cogeneration facilities, which play a vital role in the area’s oil-producing operations. Producing two sources of energy in the form of steam and electricity, these facilities allow heavy oil to flow and be produced efficiently, economically and with reduced air emissions.
The Tehachapi Wind Resources Area generates almost half of the wind energy produced in the state, approximately one percent of the state’s overall electricity needs.
With more than 300 days of sunlight each year, Kern County is an ideal location for solar electrical systems. Homeowners and businesses continue to install these types of systems, taking advantage of this abundant natural resource.
A major region of economic growth, Kern County’s successful energy industry is committed to sustaining the area’s vitality and to enhancing the region’s cultural, social and work environments.
2009 Oil Production (Million Barrels)
Kern County 154.8
North Dakota 79.7
New Mexico 61.1