Standard Oil of California, the nation's fourth largest oil company, yesterday reported its 1979 profits jumped by 64 percent to a record $1.785 billion.

Among smaller petroleum producers, Cities Service Co. turned in a 72 percent gain and Tenneco Inc. showed a 26 percent increase in earnings.

Standard at California's worldwide earnings of $1.785 billion ($10.44 a share) compared with profits of $1.089 billion ($6.38) last year.

On a percentage gain basis, Standard of California's jump in profits was the fourth largest among major companies -- ranking behind Texaco's 106.4 percent gain, Mobil's 78 percent and Gulf's 68 percent.

Standard of California, which sells gasoline under the Chevron brand, said its sales and other revenues for the year increased to $31.8 billion from $24.6 billion.

On a worldwide basis, the company said, its petroleum profits amounted to 5.3 cents for every dollar of sales and 2.8 cents for every gallon of crude oil and petroleum products sold.

Cities Service said its earnings climbed to $347.5 million ($12.54) from operating earnings of $202.5 million ($7.32) a year earlier.

City Service's revenues for the year climbed to $6.3 million from $4.7 million.

Tenneco reported that big gains from its oil operations boosted its earnings to $571 million ($5.30) from $452 million ($4.39) Tenneco also owns the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. and has investments in several other fields. Total revenues of the corporation increased to $11.2 billion from $8.76 billion.