California

Land ownership

Natural resource extraction varies widely from state to state. In California, extractive industries accounted for 0.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016.

California leads the nation in production of:

  • Geothermal: 72.4% of U.S. Production
  • Solar: 52.2% of U.S. Production
  • Other biomass: 13.3% of U.S. Production

Natural resource ownership in the U.S. is closely tied to land ownership. Land can be owned by citizens, corporations, Indian tribes or individuals, or governments (for instance, federal, state, or local governments). Much of the data on this site is limited to natural resource extraction on federal land, which represents 45.8% of all land in California.

California also borders an offshore area with significant natural resource extraction, which may contribute to the state’s economy. For production and revenue data about offshore extraction near California, see the Pacific Ocean.

For a detailed view of how oil extraction affects communities in southern California, read the Kern County case study.

Production

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue collects detailed data about natural resource production on federal land in California.

Downloads and documentation

Gas

12,906,610 mcf of gas were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Contra Costa CountyFresno CountyGlenn CountyKern CountyKings CountyLos Angeles CountyMonterey CountySacramento CountySan Benito CountySan Joaquin CountySan Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountySolano CountyTehama CountyVentura CountyContra Costa CountyFresno CountyGlenn CountyKern CountyKings CountyLos Angeles CountyMonterey CountySacramento CountySan Benito CountySan Joaquin CountySan Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountySolano CountyTehama CountyVentura County
County production of gas in 2017 (mcf)

Geothermal

122,616 Direct Utilization, Millions of BTUs of geothermal were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Lassen CountyLassen County
County production of geothermal in 2017 (Direct Utilization, Millions of BTUs)

Geothermal

716,173,469 Electrical Generation, Kilowatt Hours of geothermal were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Imperial CountyInyo CountyMono CountyImperial CountyInyo CountyMono County
County production of geothermal in 2017 (Electrical Generation, Kilowatt Hours)

Geothermal

468,609 Electrical Generation, Other of geothermal were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Imperial CountyLassen CountyImperial CountyLassen County
County production of geothermal in 2017 (Electrical Generation, Other)

Geothermal

41,196,901 Electrical Generation, Thousands of Pounds of geothermal were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Lake CountySonoma CountyLake CountySonoma County
County production of geothermal in 2017 (Electrical Generation, Thousands of Pounds)

Geothermal

2,411 sulfur of geothermal energywere produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Inyo CountyInyo County
County production of geothermal in 2017 (sulfur)

Oil

9,255,753 barrels of oil were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

Contra Costa CountyFresno CountyKern CountyKings CountyLos Angeles CountyMonterey CountySacramento CountySan Benito CountySan Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountySolano CountyVentura CountyContra Costa CountyFresno CountyKern CountyKings CountyLos Angeles CountyMonterey CountySacramento CountySan Benito CountySan Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountySolano CountyVentura County
County production of oil in 2017 (bbl)

Salt

198,075 tons of salt were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

San Bernardino CountySan Bernardino County
County production of salt in 2017 (tons)

Soda Ash

0 tons of soda ash were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

San Bernardino CountySan Bernardino County
County production of soda ash in 2017 (tons)

Sodium Bi-Carbonate

0 tons of sodium bi-carbonate were produced on federal land in California in 2017.

County production

San Bernardino CountySan Bernardino County
County production of sodium bi-carbonate in 2017 (tons)

Revenue

Companies pay a wide range of fees, rates, and taxes to extract natural resources in the United States. What companies pay to federal, state, and local governments often depends on who owns the natural resources.

Natural resource extraction can lead to federal revenue in two ways: non-tax revenue and tax revenue. Revenue data on this site primarily includes non-tax revenue from extractive industry activities on federal land.

Downloads and documentation

Revenue from production on federal land by resource

When companies extract natural resources on federal lands and waters, they pay royalties, rents, bonuses, and other fees, much like they would to any landowner. This non-tax revenue is collected and reported by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

For details about the laws and policies that govern how rights are awarded to companies and what they pay to extract natural resources on federal land: coal, oil and gas, renewable resources, and hardrock minerals.

The federal government collects different kinds of fees at each phase of natural resource extraction. This chart shows how much federal revenue was collected in Calendar year (CY) 2017 for production or potential production of natural resources on federal land in California, broken down by phase of production.

Commodity1. Securing rights2. Before production3. During productionOther revenue
Oil and Gas
Oil & Gas
$57,799,555
$0$148,209Oil$53,117,746Gas$3,164,244NGL$935,356$434,000
Geothermal
Geothermal
$7,850,205
$0$62,089$7,759,526$28,590
Other products
Sodium
$9,800,353
$0($6,731)$9,800,089$6,995
Sulfur
$122
$0$0$122$0
Hardrock minerals
$42
$0$24$18$0
All commodities
All commodities
$75,450,273
$0$203,586$74,777,102$469,584
Commodity1. Securing rightsCompanies pay bonuses or other fees to secure rights to resources on federal land2. Before productionCompanies pay rent on federal land while exploring for resources3. During productionCompanies pay royalties after production beginsOther revenueMinimum or estimated royalties, settlements, and interest payments
Oil and Gas
Oil & Gas
$57,799,555
$0$148,209Oil$53,117,746Gas$3,164,244NGL$935,356$434,000
OnshoreBonus: The amount offered by the highest bidder$1.50 annual rent per acre for 5 years
$2 annual rent per acre thereafter
12.5% of production value
Geothermal
Geothermal
$7,850,205
$0$62,089$7,759,526$28,590
Competitive leasingNomination fee: $110 per nomination + $0.11 per acre
Bonus: The amount offered by the highest bidder
$160 processing fee
$2 per acre for the first year
$3 annual rent per acre for years 2-10
$5 annual rent per acre thereafter
Electricity sales: 1.75% of gross proceeds for 10 years, then 3.5%
Arm’s length sales: 10% of gross proceeds from contract multiplied by lease royalty rate
More about geothermal rates
Noncompetitive leasingLease: $410 payment$1 annual rent per acre for 10 years
$5 annual rent per acre thereafter
Other products
Hardrock Acquired lands$6,500 prospecting permit fee$37 annual rent per acre + $0.50 annual prospecting fee per acreRoyalty rates are determined by leasing officers on an individual case basis (no minimums apply)
All commodities
All commodities
$75,450,273
$0$203,586$74,777,102$469,584
Other revenue streams
Hardrock mining on public domain landsFederal revenue from hardrock mining on public domain land occurs through the claim-staking process and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It is not included here, because the dataset does not have state-level data. Learn more about hardrock mining on federal land.
Onshore solar and wind energyFederal revenue from onshore renewable energy generation on federal land is not included here, because that dataset, from BLM, does not have state-level data. Learn more about onshore renewables on federal land.
To see how much was collected nationwide for all revenue types, including BLM revenues, see federal revenue by company.

Most non-tax revenue collected by ONRR comes from counties with significant natural resources on federal land.

Downloads and documentation

We don’t have detailed data about federal, state, or local revenue from natural resource extraction on land owned by California, corporations, or individuals. However, companies generally must pay state and local taxes.

Disbursements

After collecting revenue from natural resource extraction, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue distributes that money to different agencies, funds, and local governments for public use. This process is called “disbursement.”

Most federal revenue disbursements go into national funds. For detailed data about which expenditures and projects from those national funds are in California, see nationwide federal disbursements.

ONRR also disburses some revenue from natural resource extraction to state governments. In 2018, ONRR disbursed $44,891,376 to California. This included revenues from both onshore and offshore extraction in or near California:

  • $43,528,052 was from onshore revenues
  • $1,363,324 was from offshore revenues

Downloads and documentation

We don’t have detailed data about how states or local governments distribute revenue from natural resource extraction.

State governance

Because California has significant natural resource extraction, we gathered additional information about state agencies and regulations that govern natural resource extraction in California: