The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reduced its estimate of recoverable oil in California’s Monterey shale formation from 13.7 billion barrels to just 0.6 billion barrels—a reduction of over 95%.
The original estimate were based on figures release in a 2011 report by the EIA which had stated that there was up to 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable tight oil in the state’s Monterey shale formation, 64% of the nation’s total.
The over inflated figures figures sparked optimism for financial analysts over the state of California’s energy future.
The reduction in recoverable estimates were previously highlighted in a report, “Drilling California: A reality check on the Montery Shale” by geoscientist David Hughes. The report utilised empirical analysis of actual shale oil production data from the Monterey shale formation, basing its figures on data, rather than assumptions.
“We’re pleased that the EIA has corrected what was a groundless and highly misleading over-estimation of the potential of the Monterey,” said Asher Miller, Executive Director of Post Carbon Institute. “We hope that everyone—from the EIA to policymakers and the media—will learn a cautionary lesson from what transpired here in California as we wrestle with questions about what the future of American energy policy can and should be.
One of the major problems that our communities face in relation to hydraulic fracturing is that the techniques are so new that our legislation has not caught up with them. This means that the industry cannot properly be monitored or regulated. One example of this is the EU-wide system of Environmental Impact Assessments. These are mandatory for gas extraction projects but only where the amount of gas is predicted to be at a very high level, much higher than that produced by hydraulic fracturing. A proposal has been made to make EIAs compulsory for all unconventional (i.e. shale gas etc.) fossil fuel projects, recognising the greater risk which they pose to public health, the environment and sustainable economies.
As you might expect, the fossil fuel industry has been lobbying aggressively against the proposal and so it is vital that MEPs hear our voices, on behalf of the ordinary people who will be affected by this gap in the regulation. The European Parliament’s Environment Committee will be voting on the issue on Thursday July 11th so we have very little time.
Friends of the Earth in Europe have produced a template letter setting out the details of the issues and technical amendments and a list of the UK and Irish members of the Environmental Committee. Please use this template to contact the committee members and let them know how important this is. Thank you very much.
July 2013 letter to MEPs
Republic of Ireland: Nessa CHILDERS email@example.com
Northern Ireland: Martina ANDERSON firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: Martin CALLANAN email@example.com
Chris DAVIES firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill EVANS Jill.email@example.com
Nick GRIFFIN firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda McAVAN email@example.com
Paul NUTTALL firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenis WILLMOTT email@example.com
Marina YANNAKOUDAKIS firstname.lastname@example.org
More details about the background to this issue are available at http://frackingfreeireland.org/campaign-news/take-action/