Based on information originally published by the Los Angeles Times
Source: Bureau of Land Management, Bakersfeld Offce, and California Department of Conservation
Oil and gas felds
Lake Tahoe SanAndreasfault
MONTEREY SHALE A SOURCE ROCK FOR MANY CALIFORNIA OIL FIELDS
THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY FROM INNOVATION VOLUME 2 NUMBER 4 JULY/AUGUST 2014
High cost of maintaining Eagle
Ford roads strains DeWitt County
Monterey proves more complex than average shale play
logically complex that there is no cookie cutter solution that’s going to work
there, so the pace of industry learning
is going to be a lot slower,” Jones said.
The initial EIA estimate of 13. 7 billion bbl, he said, may also have taken
into account production from wells targeting conventional formations that are
sourced from the Monterey and are often interbedded with it.
The expected resource reduction
brings the agency’s projections closer to
those issued by Wood Mackenzie.
The research and advisory firm performed a Monterey analysis based on
wells that it verified produce directly
from the formation and arrived at an
estimate of 827 million bbl of commercially recoverable resources.
The figure is about one-third high-
er than EIA’s revised resource projec-
tions. Jones said this is likely because
“I think the previous estimate was
based on the idea that all tight oil plays
are pretty similar,” said Jesse Jones, lead
analyst for Wood Mackenzie. EIA like-
ly assumed, he said, that the Monterey
would see the same rapid improvement
in well completion design that has en-
abled constant well productivity im-
provements in unconventional plays
like the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales.
“The Monterey is so much more geo-
Rachael Seeley, Editor
A pending cut in the Energy Information Administration’s resource estimate
for the Monterey shale reflects the complexity of the play relative to other US
tight oil plays and the need for more research into its geology.
EIA is expected to cut by 96% its
estimate of technically recoverable resources in the massive California formation, to 600 million bbl.
Wood Mackenzie tends to bias its estimates toward recent well results where
improved stimulation techniques have
raised recoveries. EIA, by contrast,
tends to make extrapolations based on
all of the wells that have been drilled in
a formation, he said.
California oil plays lack the relatively
homogeneous structure found in other
US tight oil plays, like the Permian basin and Bakken shale. Formations in
California were deposited more recently and more rapidly, and were folded
and faulted by tectonic activity.
“The Monterey shale, in a lot of places, is a couple thousand feet thick but
it’s also very folded and faulted because
of the tectonics in the area… So you
couldn’t drill a long horizontal well and
cont’d on p. 1
Rachael Seeley, Editor
CUERO, Tex.—Development of the
Eagle Ford shale has transformed rural De Witt County, Tex., into one of the
top oil and gas producing counties in
Texas, bringing with it a welcome economic stimulus. However, the county’s
asphalt and gravel roads were not designed for the accompanying increase
in heavy truck traffic, and the county is
now looking to the state for help funding
an unprecedented rise in road spending.
From 2012 to 2014, the county road
budget rose four-fold to $15.3 million to
meet the growing cost of maintaining
the county road system (see table, p. 4).
“For the weight of the trucks, the volume
of the trucks, and the fact that it’s mostly
two-way traffic, we just had a road sys-
tem that was wholly inadequate,” Coun-
ty Judge Daryl Fowler told UOGR.
Road spending accounts for 57%
of the county’s 2014 budget, which, at
$26.5 million, is the largest budget DeWitt County has ever passed. “We just
had to take these emergency measures”
to pay for road damage, Fowler said.
The Eagle Ford shale lies beneath
about two thirds of De Witt County, and
the county maintains about 342 miles
of roads affected by shale development—or roughly half of its 690 miles
of county road.
cont’d on p. 2
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