The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has cut the Monterey Shale oil formation estimate by 96 percent to just 600 million barrels from 13.7 billion, due to a lack of extraction technology. The assessment cut US national reserves by 39 percent.
Monterey Shale is a 1,750-mile formation that accounts for two-thirds of the US’s shale oil reserves. It lies through the center of California from Sacramento to the Los Angeles basin and includes some coastal regions. Being folded and shattered by seismic activity the shale oil is concealed deeper than the relatively even and layered like a cake North Dakota and Texas formations.
Compared with oil production from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, “the Monterey formation is stagnant,” LA times quotes John Staub, a petroleum exploration and production analyst who led the energy agency’s research.