Monterey Shale Formation


The Monterey Formation is an extensive Miocene oil-rich geological sedimentary formation in California, with outcrops of the formation in parts of the California Coast Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, and on some of California’s off-shore islands.
The formation is the major source-rock for 37 to 38 billion barrels of oil in conventional traps such as sandstones.
This is most of California’s known oil resources.
The Monterey has been extensively investigated and mapped for petroleum potential, and is of major importance for understanding the complex geological history of California. Its rocks are mostly highly siliceous strata that vary greatly in composition, stratigraphy, and tectono-stratigraphic history.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated in 2014 that the 1,750 square mile Monterey Formation could yield about 600 million barrels of oil, from tight oil contained in the formation, down sharply from their 2011 estimate of a potential 15.4 billion barrels.
Despite intense industry efforts, there has been little success to date (2013) in producing Monterey-hosted tight oil/shale oil, and it may be many years, if ever, before the Monterey becomes a significant producer of shale oil.

The Monterey Formation strata vary. Its lower Miocene members show indications of weak coastal upwelling, with fossil assemblages and calcareous-siliceous rocks formed from diatoms and coccolithophorids. Its middle and upper Miocene upwelling-rich assemblages, and its unique highly siliceous rocks from diatom-rich plankton, became diatomites, porcelainites, and banded cherts.

Contents

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Monterey Shale: California’s Trillion-Dollar Energy Source

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further Developments & Information

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31.März 2014

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Will the Monterey Shale be an energy and economic boon for California?
The debate over oil and gas development in California has been influenced by expectations of an energy and economic boon from developing the Monterey Shale. This panel discussion provides legislators, journalists, and others interested in California energy and economic issues with a solid foundation for understanding the prospects of developing the Monterey Shale.

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20.Mai 2014

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U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%
Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national „black gold mine“ of petroleum..

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
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Los Angeles Times

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22.Mai 2014

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Kaliforniens Traum von der Fracking-Ölbonanza ist geplatzt
Herber Rückschlag für den US-Ölboom: Die Regierung schätzt das kalifornische Ölgebiet Monterey als 96 Prozent weniger ergiebig ein als zuvor. Damit fallen zwei Drittel der US-Schieferöl-Reserven weg. Die Industrie reagiert zerknirscht – ihr entgeht eine Billionensumme.
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Nils-Viktor Sorge – ManagerMagazin

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