NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
California is sitting on a massive amount of shale oil and could become the next oil boom state. But only if the industry can get the stuff out of the ground without upsetting the state’s powerful environmental lobby.
Running from Los Angeles to San Francisco, California’s Monterey Shale is thought to contain more oil than North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’s Eagle Ford — both scenes of an oil boom that’s created thousands of jobs and boosted U.S. oil production to the highest rate in over a decade.
n fact, the Monterey is thought to hold over 400 billion barrels of oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s nearly half the conventional oil in all of Saudi Arabia.
“Four hundred billion barrels, that doesn’t escape anyone in this businesses,” said Stephen Trammel, energy research director at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
The trick now is getting it out.
As a result of the San Andres fault, California’s geologic layers are folded like an accordion rather than simply stacked on top of each other like they are in other Shale states. The folds have naturally cracked the shale rock, and much of California’s current “conventional” oil production — the