Monterey Shale downgrade doesn’t dent U.S. shale boom, experts say

|By:, SA News Editor

The revelation that California's Monterey Shale deposit will yield only 4% of what was originally hoped was not a big surprise to those in the know, who say the downgrade does little to alter the near-term trajectory of the energy renaissance.

Monterey's terrain, as well as California's strict environmental regulation, always meant full scale drilling would be difficult; Chevron (CVX) bemoaned the lack of profit derived from its Monterey operations at a 2013 shareholders meeting, and Venoco - once one of the biggest drillers in the formation - exited most of its Monterey acreage years ago in order to reduce debt and go private.

The Monterey news does spotlight an element of the shale boom that often goes unremarked by fracking advocates: Shale wells are prone to rapid depletion rates, as spots in North Dakota's Bakken lose 85% of their capacity within a few years.

Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.