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Measure P would ban the use of techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, and acid stimulation, which aren’t currently in use in the county. But it would also ban practices such as cyclic steaming, which is in use at about one-third of Santa Barbara County’s nearly 1,200 wells.
Federal officials have slashed their estimate for how much oil is held in California’s Monterey shale by 96 percent, but energy companies working in the Tri-Counties say they have no plans to abandon their efforts in the long-producing formation or its rising competitor, the diatomite.
Santa Maria Energy is on the hunt for private equity funding for its $120.7 million capital budget after a going-public deal fell apart.
A $79 million merger that would have taken Santa Maria Energy public has been called off after its financiers couldn’t gather the votes to pass it.
Hyde Park’s investors spurned the Santa Maria Energy deal, at least for now. Sixty-seven percent voted to push the final vote on the merger back to April 30, signaling there were not enough votes to approve the deal outright.
Santa Maria Energy has disclosed plans to pump up to $114 million into Santa Barbara County this year as it pursues its $1.2 billion in oil reserves and more than 7,700 potential drilling locations.