Energy Secretary Federico Pena (left) and Occidental Petroleum's David Hentschel sign the historic transfer agreement with Patricia Godley, DOE's Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, who orchestrated the sale, looking on.
On February 5, 1998, the Department of Energy and Occidental Petroleum Corporation concluded the largest divestiture of federal property in the history of the U.S. government.
The sale agreement completed a privatization process that began in 1995 when the Clinton Administration proposed selling Elk Hills. The divestment removed the federal government out of the business of producing oil and gas at Elk Hills.
In May 1995 the Clinton Administration proposed placing the federally-owned Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve on the market as part of its efforts to reduce the size of government and return inherently non-federal functions to the private sector. In February 1996, the Congress passed and the President signed the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 containing authorization to proceed with the sale.
The following are public announcements and Congressional statements that describe the divestiture:
- Largest Federal Divestiture Completed, Elk Hills Reserve Transferred To Private Owner - February 5, 1998
- Energy Department to Sell Elk Hills to Occidental Petroleum for $3.65 Billion - October 6, 1997
- DOE Formally Places Naval Oil Reserve on Market, Privatization Could be Largest Since Conrail - May 21, 1997
- DOE Recommends Transfer of Naval Oil Shale Reserves and Buena Vista Hills Reserve to Interior Department - April 8, 1997
- DOE Outlines Additional Details of Plan to Offer Elk Hills Field; Also Names Independent Assessors - April 2, 1997
- DOE to Offer Elk Hills Field in Segments to Maximize Competition - October 6, 1996
- DOE Begins Seeking Independent Assessors to Establish Value of Elk Hills Field - October 2, 1996
- DOE Publishes New Schedule of Milestones for Selling Elk Hills Oil Field - July 19, 1996
- CS First Boston Selected as Financial Advisor to U.S. Government on the Sale of Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve - April 11, 1996, Press Announcement by CS First Boston
- Energy Department Takes First Step in Process to Sell Elk Hills Naval Oil Reserve - February 16, 1996
- Statement of Secretary Hazel R. O'Leary Following President's Signing of Authorizing Legislation - February 10, 1996
- Clinton Administration Delivery on Promise to Retired California Teachers Could Boost Pension Checks - February 10, 1996