'May 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday cut its estimate of recoverable oil in California's Monterey shale by 96 percent, casting doubt on what was once thought to be America's next major energy play.
In what could be welcome news for environmentalists and a potentially bad omen for oil drillers, such as Venoco Inc, with large leases in the region, the EIA slashed its forecast of technically recoverable reserves, citing production difficulties from initial wells.
The reserves were downgraded by 96 percent, from 13.7 billion barrels estimated by a government-funded report in 2011, to just 600 million barrels, the EIA said. A detailed report is expected to be released next month.'
UPDATE 2-U.S. EIA cuts recoverable Monterey shale oil estimate by 96 pct | Reuters