Tuesday, Oct 06th

Last update03:28:32 AM GMT

You are here News Environment Are We Trading Our Health For Oil in New, Fracking-Induced California Gold Rush?

Are We Trading Our Health For Oil in New, Fracking-Induced California Gold Rush?

E-mail Print PDF

Fracking healt hazardsBeneath the farms, orchards and vineyards of Central and Southern California lies a prehistoric soup worth a fortune. The mineral-rich Monterey and Santos shale formations stretching 1,750 square miles across the San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles Basin hold a watery mixture of oil and gas – but it’s the oil that may trigger another gold rush. That is, if companies can figure out a profitable way to tap it.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the contiguous 48 states hold an estimated 23.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil, of which an astounding 15 billion barrels are in the Monterey/Santos formations. California has been plumbed for oil extraction and production for 150 years, but getting to the Monterey’s mother lode is no easy task.

“Producing Monterey Shale oil could make panning for gold look easy,” wrote David Brown in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ publication The Explorer. The formation is fractured and faulted. But that’s not all. The shale is, on average, almost 1,900 feet thick and 11,200 feet deep. This makes accessing the oil tricky, and conventional methods won’t suffice.

Increasingly, companies are turning to new technologies. In California they’ve tried using water and steam flooding, gravel packing, and acidization (injecting hydrochloric or hydrofluoric acid) to coax the oil to the surface. And then there is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, where a mixture of chemicals, water and sand are forced at high pressure underground vertically, and sometimes horizontally as well.


Most Recent Related Stories...

South Carolina floods: climate change intensified conditions, scientists say

South carolina floodsScientists say climate change has exacerbated the effects of a storm blamed for at least nine...

Cargo Ship With 33 Crew Members Aboard Missing in Hurricane Joaquin

Cargp ship missingThe U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force Hurricane Hunters were searching the Atlantic Ocean near Crooked...

U.S. settles claims with BP over 2010 spill

BP settlementThe U.S. Justice Department announced Monday it reached a settlement with British energy company BP over...

Hurricane Joaquin 'extremely dangerous' category 4, 130 mph winds

HoaquinHurricane Joaquin was upgraded to an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm Thursday afternoon with 130 mph...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!