Oil pumped at Port of Long Beach in California 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
A huge oil discovery could be on the horizon in California, The Jerusalem Post
The Golden State is already home to five of the 12 largest
oil fields in the US, and the California Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal
Resources estimates that more than 35 billion barrels of oil equivalent overall
have been discovered in the state so far. This is roughly equivalent to the
proven reserves of Nigeria, the world’s 10th-largest oil
Industry sources, including Occidental Petroleum Corporation –
the fourth-largest US oil company – believe there is significant potential
remaining, with more large undiscovered resources in the region.
Alon USA Energy Inc – the American subsidiary of the Alon Israel
Oil Company – is in prime position to benefit financially from California’s
21st-century oil rush, an industry source said.
Alon USA is sitting in
the thick of the action, with refineries in Paramount and Long Beach in the
greater Los Angeles area, and a third refinery in Bakersfield, which it acquired
for $32 million in 2010. Together, Alon USA’s three California refineries are
operating at a throughput capacity of 94,000 barrels per day. The refineries
produce and market CARBOB gasoline, CARB diesel, jet fuel, asphalt and other
The San Joaquin Valley, in which Bakersfield is
located, is home to discoveries of about 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent
and is where Alon is concentrating most of its efforts. The company said in its
recent annual report that California was its “most difficult market in
But it added that it had restarted operations at the Bakersfield
and Paramount refineries, and that it expected to improve profitability on the
US West Coast thanks partly to potential increases of shale oil production in
the Bakersfield area.
Alon USA owns 1,700 TOTALFINA gas stations, an oil
refinery, terminals and a pipeline in the US. Alon Israel is the largest
Israel-based fuel company. It has more than 350 gas stations around the country,
giving it a 20 percent share of the market.
Corporation reported a first-quarter net profit increase to $1.6 billion ($1.92
per share) from $1.5b.
($1.90 per share) in the same period last year. It
reported firstquarter production of 755,000 barrels per day, and predicted
steady growth from its US operations in the second quarter, from 6,000 to 8,000
barrels per day.
“In the first half of 2012, we expect our domestic
production to grow 3 to 4 mboe/d [thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day]
each month from the current quarterly average of 449 mboe/d,” Occidental
President and CEO Stephen I. Chazen reported at the Howard Weil 40th Annual
Energy Conference on March 27. “If the production growth rate continues at a
comparable pace in the second half of 2012, our year-over-year average domestic
production growth would be between 8% and 10% in 2012.”
In addition to
Occidental’s projected growth in California, Chazen expected drilling activity
to speed up in the Permian basin in West Texas, Oil & Gas News reported this
“Every forecast I’ve ever made for this business over the Permian
over the last five or 10 years has been way too low,” it quoted him as saying in
a conference call. “The business is a very large business, larger than a lot of
companies. And it will continue to grow at a pretty decent pace.”
helped his Los Angeles- based company earn a whopping $3.4b. in economic profit
last year, an increase of $1.6b. from 2012, according to a Pepperdine University