Vast oil trove trapped in Monterey Shale formation

A bustling city is sprouting on five acres here, carved out of a vast almond grove. Tanker trucks and heavy equipment come and go, a row of office trailers runs the length of the site and an imposing 150-foot drilling rig illuminated by football-field-like lights rises over the trees.

It's all been hustled into service to solve a tantalizing riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States.

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction — primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization — can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves.

Read full text in the LA Times