Berry Petroleum Company

Berry Petroleum Corporation is a petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids exploration and production company based in Bakersfield, California.

Berry Petroleum Corporation
Public company
Russell 2000 Index component
IndustryPetroleum industry
Founded1909; 111 years ago (1909)
FounderClarence Berry
HeadquartersBakersfield, California
Key people
Trem Smith, CEO
Natural gas
Natural gas liquids

Its production is 46% in California, 23% in the Permian Basin, and 13% in the Uintah Basin.


Berry Petroleum Company was founded in 1909 by Clarence Berry in California.

In August 1996, the company acquired Tannehill Oil and its affiliates for $25.2 million.[1]

In 2003, the company acquired properties in the Uintah Basin in northwestern Utah.[2]

In February 2013, Linn Energy acquired the company for $4.3 billion, including $2.5 billion in stock.[3][4]

In February 2017, Linn Energy completed a financial restructure that included the corporate spin-off of Berry into a separate company.[5]

In July 2018, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.[6]

1993 Oil spillEdit

In December 1993, an oil pipeline owned by the company leaked, resulting in a spill of 84,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into McGrath Lake, near Oxnard, California. Berry had acquired the 40-year-old pipeline from Chevron Corporation in 1990 after it had been abandoned for 10 years. The line had been used to transport natural gas, yet Berry began to pump crude oil through it without making any upgrades. Moreover, it was revealed that 10 months before the oil spill occurred, a safety valve that might have prevented the leak had broken and was not repaired. Both Berry and the state negotiated through the press, with Berry countering prosecutors threats with talk of suing the agencies that neglected to investigate witness reports and notify company officials of the leak. Several months later Berry agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement and pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor charge of failing to report the leak. In addition, the foreman on duty during the spill pleaded no contest to a charge of illegally releasing oil into marine water and was ordered to perform 320 hours of beach cleanup. Although free of criminal charges, Berry still faced a civil case from the state attorney general's office. That matter was settled in January 1997, when the company agreed to a $3.2 million fine.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ "BARRY PETROLEUM AGREES TO BUY TANNEHILL OIL". The New York Times. August 17, 1996.
  2. ^ "Berry Petroleum buying Uinta basin properties from Williams". Oil & Gas Journal. May 13, 2003.
  3. ^ "LINN Energy and LinnCo to Acquire Berry Petroleum Company for $4.3 Billion" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. February 21, 2013.
  4. ^ Gopinath, Swetha (February 21, 2013). "Linn to buy Berry Petroleum for $2.5 billion to add oil reserves". Reuters.
  5. ^ "LINN Energy Successfully Completes Financial Restructuring" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. February 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "Berry Petroleum Corporation Announces Closing of Initial Public Offering" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. July 30, 2018.
  7. ^ McDONALD, JEFF (August 18, 1994). "Berry Petroleum Pleads No Contest in Oil Spill : Penalty: Company ordered to pay $600,000 to settle criminal complaint over December pipeline rupture". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "BERRY PETROLEUM TO PAY $3.1 MILLION OIL SPILL PENALTY, DAMAGES" (Press release). United States Environmental Protection Agency. January 24, 1997.
  9. ^ "California Oil Spill Threatens Small Coastal Wetlands Area". The New York Times. December 27, 1993.