Monterey shale oil

The Monterey Shale formation underlies much of Kings County.

HANFORD — The cure to Kings County’s unemployment problem could be oil thousands of feet underground, according to a California State University, Fresno study released Friday.

The study forecast that major development of the multi-county Monterey Shale oil formation could create 195,000 jobs, generate $22 billion in personal income and produce $6.7 billion in new taxable sales.

The study, commissioned by the Western States Petroleum Association, was conducted by Fresno State economics professors Antonio Avalos and David Vera. It’s estimated that up to 15 billion barrels of oil are locked in the shale formation that will require a practice known as fracking to extract it.

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