SAN ARDO (CBS 5) — Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” could make 14 billion barrels of oil reserves in the hills and valleys beyond the Monterey County town of San Ardo accessible.
Standup oil wells are nothing new for ranchers in southern Monterey County. The area is home to the San Ardo oil fields, where companies such as Chevron have been pumping for 60 years. New technology could allow the drilling to expand to places where oil lies much deeper, in an area known as the Monterey Shale.
“This formation has been known about for a very long period of time; now we have technologies, enabling technologies, that allow these reservoirs to be produced economically,” said Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback.
Some Landowners May Not Have Say On ‘Fracking’
He said shale oil is harder to harvest because an oil drill needs to go down and then out horizontally using the controversial technique hydraulic fracturing. With oil at almost $90 a barrel, Zoback predicts things are about to quickly change.
In Monterey County, oil prospectors are knocking on landowners’ doors trying to buy up their leases.
“Now all of a sudden the people that drill for oil are more interested in going out and getting these mineral rights from property owners,” said county assessor Steve Vagnini. Read More Here.