Let's Start with Definitions

Below are some illustrations of methods used on Monterey County's heavy oil, similar in viscosity to the Alberta’s Tar Sands. 

Although the "technically recoverable" amount of oil has been severely downgraded, "very smart engineers are spending their waking hours trying to come up with the magic formula," says Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., a trade group representing numerous Monterey Shale prospectors. When the price of a barrel of oil and technology align, Monterey County fields will be open to risky industrial development without regulation.

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