California Fracking Set to Expand with New Federal Auction

Chuck Abbe/CC BY 2.0

Though fracking continues to face very vocal opposition on the East Coast, California too may soon get in on the act. There's already some fracking in the Monterey Shale (from the Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley), a new federal auction is now scheduled for December.

SF Gate reports that the Bureau of Land Management auction will be for 79 parcels on a 17,847 acre area of land.

Astoundingly, for a state so environmentally progressive in many ways, oil and gas companies there are not required to disclose the location of fracking wells— currently some 350 wells have been disclosed voluntarily. Though much as the case elsewhere companies are also not required to disclose the chemicals that they use in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Different in California than in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio—the front line of the fracking battle, for those just coming to this discussion—in the Monterey Shale it's oil that companies are going for as more than natural gas. Estimates of the oil contained in the Monterey Shale place it at 15.4 billion barrels of oil, of 64% of US shale oil reserves. That's a bit over two years worth of all oil consumed in the country.

Tags: Fracking | Oil

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