Naval Petroleum Reserve #1 and #2, California
This is one of the most productive oil fields in the country, and for 86 years it was owned by the federal government as part of the National Petroleum Reserve. In 1998, it was sold to Occidental Petroleum for $3.65 billion, the largest federal divestiture in American history. The National Petroleum Reserve was established in 1912 as a backup source of crude oil for the federal government, originally for the Navy (it is often still referred to as the Naval Petroleum Reserve). Four sites in the country comprised the Naval Petroleum Reserve: Naval Petroleum Reserve No.1, known as Elk Hills; Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 just adjacent to Elk Hills, encompassing another major oil field; the 30,000-acre Buena Vista field, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 near Casper, Wyoming; and Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 on the North Slope of Alaska, only half of which is currently open to new oil production. The Reserve gained notoriety for the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920's, which involved Elk Hills, but primarily the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming. Before being sold to Occidental, Elk Hills was owned by the Department of Energy, and had been selling its crude oil on the commercial market since 1977. In addition to producing over 1 billion barrels of oil since 1912, Elk Hills is the largest producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids in California, and is the 11th largest oil field in the United States. Elk Hills is a 47,000-acre (75 square mile) field with over 1,000 individual oil pumping units, three power plants, and a co-generation facility.