This news was posted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel today, in an article by Herald correspondent Kate Moser.
The oil and gas resources locked deep in the rock of an 18,000-acre swath of California that includes pieces of Monterey County are about to be up for grabs. The Monterey Shale, the largest oil-shale reservoir in the country, is estimated to hold some 14 billion barrels of oil. The federal government is preparing to lease out a large chunk of it for oil development, spanning Monterey, Fresno and San Benito counties.
… At issue is the industry’s potential use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — shooting water, chemicals and sand into rock formations in an attempt to get at previously inaccessible oil and natural gas. It opens up more domestic energy resources, but questions loom over its impact on American water supplies.
Interest in the potential of the Monterey Shale appears to be growing. Oil giant Hess Corp., for example, recently opened an office in Bakersfield on the heels of huge success fracking in North Dakota’s Bakken formation, where an explosion in oil production is under way.