Nation’s Biggest Shale Oil Formation Gets a Sudden Downsizing


Fracking got a big setback today when a new analysis from the federal government reduced the estimated recoverable reserves of California’s Monterey Shale formation by 96 percent:

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

….The Monterey Shale formation contains about two-thirds of the nation’s shale oil reserves. It had been seen as an enormous bonanza, reducing the nation’s need for foreign oil imports through the use of the latest in extraction techniques, including acid treatments, horizontal drilling and fracking.

Easy come, easy go.

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