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

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.

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Comments (5)
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1784) | Send Message
    Used to own Venoco. the Monterey and the Green River are the two biggest shale deposits. Neither are currently produceable and may never be, but then the Bakken and Eagle Ford weren't produceable either not so long ago.
    23 May 2014, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • PalmDesertRat
    , contributor
    Comments (3792) | Send Message
    The downgrade could impact OXY's reorg plans
    23 May 2014, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • Derrick Hand
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
    Many of the shale plays are uneconomic now and public company reports very suspect. Economics are especially suspect when a company buys into a play at unrealistic prices.
    23 May 2014, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • coyote21
    , contributor
    Comments (69) | Send Message
    This is why OXY planned to spin this off (Pawn this off) on the new shareholders of the their proposed new entity that was to be made up of the California properties and the Bakken in the Williston Basin in North Dakota.


    They couldn't sell their Bakken play... it seems that they are the only oil company that has failed to find oil in the prolific Bakken, kinda funny


    Their bakken well results are miserable compared to other operators' wells in the same township.... it looks like they don't understand the best practices when it comes to unconventional shale drilling/completion?


    or the people they have in place in their Williston basin unit are inexperienced and/or incompetent.


    The 30 year old young lady they have running it is using friends she went to college with instead of the seasoned Bakken companies that have been working the play since the beginning... curious
    23 May 2014, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • geologist
    , contributor
    Comments (586) | Send Message
    coyote -- If this is true regarding Oxy's Bakken program, it is sad. Whenever you explore or develop a field area you need to have experienced geoscientist/engineers & field-hands involved, period. To many Corps have their shining stars ride in on the fast horse, only to bailout with negative results. If in that position, you work with your seasoned oil finders along with the new personnel. Regards.
    23 May 2014, 10:35 PM Reply Like
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