Energy producers work to exploit riches of Calif. shale play

Energy producers are finding it hard to tap the Monterey Shale formation in California, which is estimated to contain about 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil, observers say. Several techniques, including hydraulic fracturing and steam injection, have been applied, but there have been no breakthroughs in production. "My view is we do the easy oil first, like the Bakken," AllianceBernstein oil and natural gas analyst Bob Brackett said, adding that "time will bring us back to the Monterey."

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