Tags: shale | oil | estimate | recoverable

Government Slashes Estimate for Recoverable Shale Oil

By    |   Friday, 23 May 2014 11:55 AM

Perhaps shale oil isn't quite the energy panacea that many Americans had hoped it would be.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has reduced its estimate of the amount of recoverable oil in California's Monterey Shale deposit, using existing technology, by 96 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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That puts the estimate at only 600 million barrels, down from an earlier prediction of 13.7 billion barrels.

Given that the Monterey Shale holds about two-thirds of all U.S. shale oil reserves, the EIA has effectively cut its estimate for recoverability of those reserves by 64 percent.

"The narrative of fracking in the Monterey Shale as necessary for energy independence just had a big hole blown in it," Seth Shonkoff, executive director of Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, told the Times.

The Monterey Shale was expected to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

But, "we've not seen evidence that oil extraction in this area is very productive using techniques like fracking," John Staub, an analyst who led the EIA's research, told the Times.

"Our oil production estimates combined with a dearth of knowledge about geological differences among the oil fields led to erroneous predictions and estimates."

We shouldn't conclude from the reduced estimate that the shale revolution is a mirage, says Russell Gold of The Wall Street Journal.

"Calculating reserves is a very imprecise science. But this doesn’t mean the shale boom isn’t for real," he writes. "About a million barrels of oil a day are flowing from the Bakken Shale and even more is coming from the Eagle Ford."

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Perhaps shale oil isn't quite the energy panacea that many Americans had hoped it would be.
shale, oil, estimate, recoverable
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2014-55-23
Friday, 23 May 2014 11:55 AM
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