We don’t have to prosper, California edition

Update:  This is part 12 of my Peak Oil series.)

An article in Business Insider suggests There Is A Shale Oil Field Under Santa Barbara Four-Times Bigger Than The Bakken.

The article cites without linking (and I don’t want to spend the time finding the source) an EIA analysis:

According to the EIA, the Monterey Formation, which covers an enormous chunk of Southern California and terminates near Santa Barbara, has 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude — four times as much as the Bakken formation in North Dakota.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shale-oil-field-santa-barbara-bigger-than-bakken-2012-11#ixzz2CgZucWVH

That four-times number relies on an old estimate, which I think is generally considered obsolete.

Million Dollar Way says:

It is pretty much agreed that the USGS 2008 estimate of 3.65 billion bbls of recoverable Bakken oil is way too conservative. Most agree that Bakken recoverable oil is easily 24 billion bbls.

So maybe the Monterrey formation is only about half (15B / 24B = 62.5%) of Bakken.

Have you noticed that the new unit of measure for huge oil reserves is the amount of Bakken reserves?

So whether the Monterey formation is four-times or one-half of Bakken, it is still huge.

That could mean 10,000 or 20,000 jobs for the next decade or three.

What does the North Dakota state budget look like because of oil?

Their state budget is estimated at a surplus of $1.6B (that’s billion) for the two-year budget cycle. I’ve seen that number mentioned several times.  Another report suggests a $2.0B surplus.

Both of those numbers are for the current budget cycle.  They both exclude about $1.2B in four different reserve accounts. I can’t tell how long it has taken to build those reserves, but am guessing it has been in the last three or four years.

So let’s round that down to a billion a year ($1.6B or $2B over two years plus $1.2B over three or four years would give point estimates of $1.1B to $1.4B per year) Let’s ignore the amount of revenue that is within the budget and not a part of that surplus.

Do you suppose we Californians have the wisdom to generate a huge amount of energy, tens of thousands of decent jobs, and an extra billion or more a year into the state general fund, with all of the energy, jobs, & tax revenue extending out into the future as far as the eye can see?

My guess?  Probably not.

Can someone explain to me the morality of leaving 10,000 people unemployed and forgoing over a billion a year into the state general fund?

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