Why isn’t fracking happening now in SLO County?

A:

Oil extraction in SLO County is focused in the Price Canyon region east of Pismo Beach. The oil in this area is embedded in sand formations 500-1500’ underground where steam is injected to heat the very heavy, thick crude oil so it can be pumped to the surface. Much deeper (6000-15000’) under much of our County (and Southern California) lies the Monterey shale formation, one of the largest oil reserves in the US.  This formation would need to be fracked in order to recover oil. Currently the technical and economic challenges make this unfeasible but that can change as the price of oil rises. Any place in the County that an oil company owns mineral rights could have drilling rigs and pump stations sprout up—on farmlands, vineyards, urban and rural view sheds.