By the numbers: How much Monterey Shale is being Produced?

17 News asked the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources what is currently being produced from Monterey shale in the Central Valley to find out how far along producers are into tapping into what could be a 15.4 billion barrel potential in the Monterey shale.
According to the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources or DOGGR, oil companies have produced oil from the Monterey formation for years, including includes parts of the formation made of shale or dense rock.

17 News asked DOGGR what is currently being produced from Monterey shale in the Central Valley to find out how far along producers are into tapping into what could be a 15.4 billion barrel potential in the Monterey shale.

DOGGR could not give us that answer, saying the Division does not keep track of oil production by formation.

So 17 News decided to calculate the numbers on our own, calculating that last year only 1.6 million barrels of oil were produced from the Monterey Shale.

That's 0.8 percent of the state's total oil production (197,500,000 barrels in 2012, according to the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources).

Here's how we calculated this number.

Searching through DOGGR field history data sheets, we isolated each field that has produced from the Monterey formation.

From there we identified the pool the field was producing from (Antelope, Stevens Sand, etc.). Then we identified which pools in the Monterey are shale, consulting California State University-Bakersfield geologist Janice Gillespie.

This is important because producers pull millions of barrels of oil from Stevens Sand, a pool in the Monterey formation but not shale.

Field Pool 2013 Production 2012 Production

Asphalto Antelope Shale 13,555 21,131
Buena Vista (East) Antelope Shale 124,937 156,754
Buena Vista (West) Antelope Shale 85,914 95,860
Lost Hills Antelope/McDonald 20,488 15,080
Lost Hills Devilwater 4,317 14,436
Lost Hills (NW) Antelope 1,338 3,431
McDonald/Anticline Antelope 0 446
McKittrick (Main) Antelope 2,016 3,088
McKittrick (NW) Antelope 8,669 14,475
Monument Junction (Main) Antelope 59,322 107,357
Monument Junction (Mongoose) Antelope 11,766 15,812
Railroad Gap Antelope Shale 38,758 63,147
Railroad Gap VALV 1,236 2,022
North Shafter McLure 620,195 1,094,052

  TOTAL: 992,511
barrels of oil
1,607,091
barrels of oil

Producers also extract oil from Diatomite, found in western Kern County. Some may consider this dense rock shale, since it needs to be hydraulically fractured to release its oil. However most geologists told us Diatomite, while dense, is not typical shale and therefore should not be counted.

These numbers only include Monterey shale produced in the Central Valley. There is more produced in the L.A. area, on the coast and offshore.

So if producers are already producing shale, what are they looking for?

According to industry geologists no company has been able to produce from shale in the Monterey resource play. Geoscientists say this is the region deep in the valley, miles below the earth’s surface, where the Monterey's oil is generated. This has never been produced by industry but is said to contain high saturations of oil.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Bakersfield, CA

69°F
93°F
53°F
Clear
El Tejon Pharmacy