California Oil & Natural Gas Industry

California is an energy island. All of the oil produced in California is used in California and only accounts for only about 30% of the state’s total needs. 70% of the state’s crude supply is imported. There is no infrastructure to affordably transport crude oil to California from other states in the continental United States. This means that any decreased production in California must be offset by imports from foreign countries. This means that California needs to rely on foreign oil for 200 million barrels – (CIPA Issues Briefing Book – 2022)

Foreign Oil

In just two decades, our state’s dependence on foreign oil has quintupled. Currently, the largest sources of foreign crude to California are Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. This puts our energy security in the hands of countries that do not follow the same rigorous environmental protections we have here, nor do they share our values when it comes to human and labor rights. Additionally, foreign oil must be transported here by tanker ship, which has air quality impacts at our ports.



California Oil Production

In the last four years, California’s local oil and gas production has shut down by 22%, primarily due to California’s energy policies. But, decreasing California’s local production does not decrease our consumption, just where our oil comes from.

California oil and gas production provides our state with $1.7 billion dollars in tax revenue to fund schools, social services, and public safety every year.

54 cents of every dollar from California’s oil and gas property taxes go to public schools

California Natural Gas

California Gas (Credit to Kurt Snibbe – Southern California News Group)

Natural gas continues to play an important and varied role in California. Nearly 45 percent of the natural gas burned in California is used for electricity generation, and much of the remainder consumed in the residential (21 percent), industrial (25 percent), and commercial (9 percent) sectors. California continues to depend upon out-of-state imports for nearly 90 percent of its natural gas supply, underscoring the importance of monitoring and evaluating ongoing market trends and outlook. Natural gas has become an increasingly important source of energy since the state’s power plants rely on this fuel.

Natural gas provides the largest portion of the total in-state capacity and electricity generation in California.

Production Decline

California produced about 500,000 cubic feet of natural gas in the 1980s. It has steadily been declining in production. It dropped to less than 200,000 cubic feet in 2018 and was 133,136 cubic feet in 2021, which was about 7% of the state’s consumption needs.


More Than Just Energy

Less than half of a barrel of oil is used for gasoline. Transitioning to electric vehicles and alternate energy sources cannot be done without oil and gas. The technology does not yet exist for alternate fuels for air travel, trains or container ships.

Our daily lives are filled with things made from oil. The quality of life would be greatly diminished without some of these products.

Solar Panels use photovoltaics to turn sunlight into electricity. The photovoltaics are, typically sandwiched between layers of copolymers that are derived from oil.

Wind Turbines use a tremendous amount of fossil fuels in the construction phase. Production of steel, concrete, copper and other components require petroleum for transporting raw materials and finished product, furnaces to forge steel, equipment to quarry aggregate and cement materials and energy to power the physical plants. The on-site construction of the turbine requires fossil fueled equipment and transportation of workers, tools and supplies.

The manufacture of the turbine uses oil based products for the turbine blades, weather proofing, sealers and adhesives. Once completed, the turbine uses 60+ gallons of lubricating oil in its gearbox. More lubricating oil is needed for other moving parts.

Electric Vehicles need petroleum based products to be built.


There are over 6000 products made from petroleum.