California could take over Texas in oil production
California, even as it seeks to be the greenest U.S. state, stands a good chance of emerging as the nation’s top oil producer in the next decade, helping America toward what once seemed an unlikely goal of energy independence.
The catalyst is the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s sale last week of 15 leases covering about 18,000 acres of the Monterey Shale, a geologic formation whose sweet spots stretch from east of San Francisco more than 200 miles south to Monterey County. The auction was dominated by Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and smaller companies betting on a coming boom. Yesterday California regulators issued a draft of new rules to sharpen their oversight of the surge in fracking.