Monterey Shale in California: 15.4 billion barrels of oil

Discussion in 'In the News' started by herm, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] double the combined reserves of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale

    [FIMG=RIGHT][/FIMG]Bradley Olson - BLOOMBERG - Dec 19, 2012

    Convenient for export to China from the West Coast --Ed.

    California, even as it seeks to be the greenest U.S. state, stands a good chance of emerging as the nation’s top oil producer in the next decade, helping America toward what once seemed an unlikely goal of energy independence.

    The catalyst is the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s sale last week of 15 leases covering about 18,000 acres of the Monterey Shale, a geologic formation whose sweet spots stretch from east of San Francisco more than 200 miles south to Monterey County. The auction was dominated by Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and smaller companies betting on a coming boom. Yesterday California regulators issued a draft of new rules to sharpen their oversight of the surge in fracking.

    While shale developments have been most associated with natural gas, the ribbed-shaped Monterey could hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. That amounts to 64 percent of all estimated U.S. shale oil reserves and double the combined reserves of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, where energy companies are spending billions to ramp up output.

    The leap in technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has already found trillions of cubic feet of gas and billions of barrels of oil around the nation. The Monterey’s prospects coupled with a favorable oil price means “that renaissance is coming to California,” says Phil McPherson, a former energy analyst who is now chief financial officer of Citadel Exploration Inc. (COIL), a California-focused oil company.

    In perhaps a sign of the economic times, Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, dismissed the state’s top two oil regulators last year after permits for new drilling and wastewater wells had slowed to a trickle. Producers including Occidental say approvals have quickened, allowing them to continue their drilling programs after a slowdown. Also buoying the Monterey’s prospects: a bill in the California legislature that would have put a moratorium on fracking failed to gain traction this year.

    “You certainly won’t see enthusiasm in Napa and Sonoma, some of the bluer parts of the state,” says Berkeley’s Borenstein. “But many areas have been more depressed economically, so I think many people would welcome it.”[RM][/RM]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  2. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    The geology in CA is a lot different from other places that are currently fracking (like Bakken). Lots of upthrusts and folds and such in the bedded rock. Gotta be a lot of technical challenges in propagating cracks in folded rock.
  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    In my area, one oil company got fed up with dealing with the local permitting bureacracy and sold their oil rights to an Australian oil company that met with similar permitting troubles. Now the Australian company is suing local officials for restricting their oil rights, and so on and so on...

    We have some oil here but local attitudes must change before any of it will come to market.
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Poor economy-few jobs-changes everything.
    For many years it was just states like Louisiana-with a poor and poorly educated population-that would accept drilling etc.
    Of course our pols were on the take-literally.
    One family-Perez's-in Plaquamine parish-sold themselves the mineral rights-and manage to obscure what they had done by distracting folks with "integration concerns"-the OLD JUDGE PEREZ- even got himself EX-COMMUNICATED-for his racial stance-something very very tough to do in south louisiana- yeah an evil rich family "camel etc"

    So CA has to make sure their local pols aren't skimming off ALL the cream! Yeah-don't let the Pols steal it! By stealing it I mean taking it for their family-I fully expect them to tax it heavily-save CA with jobs and taxes
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    It will be entertaining to watch the econutz trying to stop this.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    $$$ and jobs trump eco concerns when the economy is poor extremely poor as it is in CA
    Pols want to get re-elected
    the strongest eco folks are upper middle class folks-they are greatly outweighed by less affluent
  7. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    The economy isn't exactly gang-busters in rural New York but fracking is still verboten. Meanwhile PA is very busy drilling and fracking...
  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    So.................. does this mean I can go buy a Silverado for a "great" price and fill it up with $2.099/gallon fuel ? Yee Haw !
  9. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    soon, good days are back again!
  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    The depletion rate on these wells is high,... something on the order of 40% year over year. So the vast majority of production from a single well bore is done at about the 5 year point.

    But, ... the operators may very well come back and drill multiple bores (from the same pad) over the years. They'll move out to the side about a quarter mile or go to different depths.
  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    will this divert environmentalist attention from the Keystone XL project in Texas?
  12. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Hmm. Underground fracking is known to have increased tectonic activity in the eastern Midwest. Now move that to California, one of the most geologically active states in the country. And unlike most of the areas where fracking is going on so far, highly susceptible to major, damaging quakes. I wonder if anything could go wrong?
  13. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Small scale quakes-right?
    Any reason to think they could trigger a "big quake"-that wasn't going to happen "soon enough" anyway?
    Heck maybe they could trigger a series of small quakes-1000's small ones over a few years-rather than one HUGE city killing one??
    Maybe work their way along some fault-fracking all the way- to the tune of Jingle Bells !!
  14. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Well, it's been small scale quakes so far, because in the areas where fracking has been done so far, there aren't major faults under pressure, ready to produce a big temblor.

    I don't see why not, if the fracking was going on in the same area as a major fault that was already close to slipping. A big quake occurs when the pressure along the fault is finally just too much .. no reason the additional underground pressure from fracking couldn't be the trigger, the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Notice I said "trigger" and not "cause." But if there is a big quake in an area where there's been fracking, you can pretty much assume people will assume fracking was the cause.
  15. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Right- it doesn't add energy-just triggers it sooner-
    which means it actually could make a "safer quake" since there was less energy buildup.
    Yeah-fracking will make CA safer.
    But of course it will be blamed for any quakes in the area.
    But it is CA- and they deserve some of what we-Louisiana- have gotten-
    Frack CA- they love their cars-time for some chickens to come home to roost!
    Same story for those "conservatives and liberals" in FLA (Herm) you folks don't allow offshore drilling-fine with Louisiana supplying gas for your cars-and NG for your electricity(ACs) but no drilling for you!!(despite Rep GOVs)
    Yeah Frack CA and Fla !!
  16. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    we care about the environment.. but I'm sure lawyers are getting ready in California.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  17. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Right-you guys care much much more that your ACs working and tanks are filled.
    Guess you'll claim "states rights" meaning affluent states don't pump-while states with plenty of less affluent pump-
    affluent states don't even allow wind energy-Like your boy's state MASS- not allowing turbines off the coast because it will ruin their view.
    Yeah-hope they frack CA and I wish FLA would be in for some
  18. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    The one chart about oil's future everyone should see|+Environment%29

    "The chart shows that by 2030 world output of oil and other liquid fuels from current fields is expected to drop to 43 million barrels per day (mbpd), some 62 million barrels below projected demand of 105 mbpd."
  19. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    What do you mean, no drilling off the coast of CA? I thought remembered seeing tons of oil rigs off the coast of Santa Barbara when I was down there a few years ago?

    Still not sure it's a good thing to be releasing seismic energy ahead of schedules ... on some faults it can take dozens or hundreds of years for the pressure to build up before they slip. What if fracking causes a whole bunch of them to go off in a period of just a few years? We could easily be talking about tens of thousands of lives and a trillion dollars in damage, caused by quakes that otherwise would not have occurred until generations later. I'm no fan of Hellifornia, but being in a quake-prone state myself (one where the pressure builds for 300-400 years in between M9 temblors) I'm not so sure I like the idea of messing around underground. A quake delayed is a quake denied, I say.
  20. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Literally? ....yes
    Figuratively? ... no

    The 1969 blowout from platform A put a stop to offshore drilling in the area........ sort of.


    1969 Santa Barbara oil spill

    "Moratoria and bans on offshore leasing and drilling
    The California State Lands Commission has not granted any new leases for offshore drilling within its jurisdiction – out to the 3 nautical miles (6 km) limit – since 1969, although existing operations, such as at Platform Holly on the Ellwood field and Rincon Island on the Rincon field, have been allowed to continue. A proposal to slant drill into the state-controlled zone from an existing platform outside of it, on the Tranquillon Ridge, was rejected in 2009 by the State Lands Commission by a 2–1 vote.
    The issue of drilling beyond the three-mile limit, in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leases, has been more complicated. Production from existing leases has been allowed almost without break since the spill. New drilling from existing platforms within lease boundaries is also allowed. However, no new leases have been granted in the OCS since 1981. In 1976, leases were sold off the Orange County coast, resulting in the construction of Platforms Edith, Elly, Ellen, and Eureka; in 1979, Platforms Harvest and Hermosa were constructed in federal waters near Point Arguello, and in 1981, the oil fields in that area were further developed with the sale of another pair of leases which now contain platforms Hidalgo and Irene.[70]
    In 1981 Congress enacted a moratorium on new offshore oil leasing, with exceptions in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of offshore Alaska, that remained in effect until 2008 when Congress did not renew it.
    Leases purchased in the 1960s in some cases were not developed until much later. Even though there was a moratorium on new leases, Exxon installed Platforms Harmony and Heritage in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1989, in over 1,000 feet (300 m) of water, completing development of their Santa Ynez Unit (which includes the Hondo and Pescado Oil Fields).[70] Several federal leases remain undeveloped, including the Gato Canyon Unit southwest of Goleta.
    [edit]Present day

    Platform A remains in the Santa Barbara Channel along with its three siblings, Platforms B, C, and Hillhouse, still pumping oil from the largely depleted field. As of 2010, the Minerals Management Service estimated only 11,400,000 barrels (1,810,000 m3) of recoverable oil remain in the Dos Cuadras Field, given present technology; another 260 million have been pumped out since the 1960s.[71][72]
    The current operator of the drilling platform, along with the other three platforms on the Dos Cuadras field, is the private firm DCOR LLC, of Ventura, California. They acquired Platform A from Plains Exploration & Production in 2005. DCOR is the fourth company to run the platform since Unocal sold its Santa Barbara Channel operations in 1996.[73]"

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