California Resources Corp. (NYSE: CRC) is looking to accelerate the development of its "vast resource basin" in the Golden State with a partnership with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets worth up to $300 million.

The Los Angeles-based company said April 19 it formed a strategic joint venture (JV) in which Macquarie committed to fund the development of California Resources' properties, with a focus on the San Joaquin Basin.

The commitment follows an agreement in February between California Resources and Benefit Street Partners LLC to invest up to $250 million for development and deleveraging purposes.

Macquarie's initial commitment of $160 million will be deployed in California Resources' Kern Front, Mt. Poso, Pleito Ranch and Wheeler Ridge fields in the San Joaquin Basin. The investment will be made over two years in accordance with an already mutually approved development plan. Macquarie may increase its total investment to up to $300 million, according to the company release. 

As part of the JV agreement, Macquarie will fund 100% of the development wells, earning a 90% working interest. California Resources' working interest will revert to 75% from 10% upon Macquarie achieving an agreed return.

Paul Beck, senior managing director for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), said the firm was attracted to California Resources' "operational expertise, technical understanding and substantial infrastructure in the San Joaquin Basin."

California Resources' portfolio includes 2.3 million net acres with 30,900 identified gross locations, according to the company's fourth-quarter presentation. The assets consist of acreage in the San Joaquin, Los Angeles, Ventura and Sacramento basins.

"We are pleased to partner with MIRA to bring forward the value of our large and long-lived inventory and help to derisk and accelerate the development of CRC’s vast resource base," Todd Stevens, California Resources' president and CEO, said in a statement. "The joint venture also provides additional flexibility to aid in our deleveraging efforts through growing our production and cash flow."

Look for further coverage on California Resources by Leslie Haines, executive editor at large, in the May issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.