Monday, November 19, 2012

Shale Oil Reservoir Under Santa Barbara, California -- Bigger Than The Bakken; The Oil Might As Well Be on The Moon

Two things that make this story particularly interesting:
  • it references the Bakken, still the "gold standard" against which all unconventional plays are measured
  • not only is it in California, it is in Santa Barbara -- God does have a sense of humor; there could be only two other places that would be more interesting than Santa Barbara for an oil boom: Yosemite and San Francisco
Link here to Business Insider.
According to the EIA, the Monterrey Formation, which covers an enormous chunk of Southern California and terminates near Santa Barbara, has 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude — four times as much as the Bakken formation in North Dakota. On Dec. 12, the Bureau of Land Management will begin auctioning off more than 17,000 acres in the formation. The problem is, California has committed to getting a third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, the paper writes. So the state risks getting left behind as the rest of the world dives into shale, it says.
A couple of things: first note the spelling -- I've seen "Monterrey" spelled with one "r" and with two. I will sort it out later.

Second, at least one operator suggests the Bakken has one trillion bbls of original oil in place, and that primary recovery rates are approaching eight (8) percent. It is pretty much agreed that the USGS 2008 estimate of 3.65 billion bbls of recoverable Bakken oil is way too conservative. Most agree that Bakken recoverable oil is easily 24 billion bbls.

Bottom line: between politics and reality, it will be a long time before Santa Barbara rivals the Bakken for bragging rights. 

No comments:

Post a Comment