California Resources Corp. (CRC) said Tuesday it has partnered with a unit of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Inc. to develop the producer’s flagship Elk Hills oilfield.
The partnership is the largest in a series of joint ventures (JV) for CRC over the past three years. Energy investment management arm Colony HB2 Energy agreed to provide at least $320 million and up to $500 million for the Elk Hills project over three years.
Up to 275 wells are planned by the partners in the field, which is in the San Joaquin Basin northwest of Bakersfield.
Under the JV, Colony would fund 100% of the well development and earn 90% working interest (WI). CRC’s 10% WI would revert to 82.5% after Colony achieves an agreed upon return. Colony also is to receive warrants to purchase up to 1.25 million shares of CRC common stock with a $40/share strike price.
CRC, a California pure-play, has a JV for up to $300 million with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, as well as a $250 million venture with Benefit Street Partners LLC. Spokesperson Margita Thompson said the Colony JV is the fifth for CRC, which now has combined committed capital for development for more than $1.3 billion.
CRC CEO Todd Stevens said the Colony JV would "provide certainty of development of our large and high value inventory at Elk Hills," as the largest JV commitment to date for the company.
Colony CEO Tom Barrack called Elk Hills a "world class field," offering an opportunity to expand the real estate investment trust firm's energy platform. "There is no better partner than CRC and no better asset than Elk Hills with which to start.”