Monterey Shale Facts & Information

There has been a great amount of leasing activity in the southern portion of the Monterey Shale play, especially in Kern, Kings, and Fresno Counties:

  • Kern County is one of the country’s largest producers of citrus fruit, grapes, almonds, and carrots, and also sits on top of five of California’s oldest and largest oil fields, Midway-Sunset, Belridge, Kern River, Cymric, and Elk Hills.
  • The economy of Kings County is based upon agriculture; in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that nearly 23 percent of the population was living below the poverty line. Turning farmland into oil fields could do much to stimulate. Kings County’s sluggish economy and high unemployment rate, which was 14.4 percent in December 2012.
  • Fresno County was the site of the discovery of oil in the early 1900s. By 1910, the Coalinga Oil Field was the largest in Fresno County and the richest producer in California. The Coalinga Field continues to produce oil today, and is currently the eighth largest oilfield in California.

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Monterey Shale Resources