Oil Shale
Natural Gas
Global Warming
As Walt Youngquist says, "Shale oil [is the] fuel of the future -- and always will be." Read on...

The US Govt's Secret Colorado Oil Discovery, by Matt Badiali, Editor, The Oil Report [2006 April] Caution: This links to a questionable advertisement.

"Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world — more than 2 Trillion barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. Three companies have been chosen to lead the way. Test drilling has already begun…"

Badaili states there are over 16,000 square miles of oil shale land in the Green River formation. Each acre holds 2 million barrels of oil - it's the most concentrated energy source on earth, according to the Energy Department.

So here's a free math lesson for Badiali: There are 640 acres in a sq mile; 16,000 sq miles = 10,240,000 acres. 10,250,000 * 2,000,000 barrels/acre = 20,480,000,000,000, or Twenty Trillion Barrels!!
Badaili uses a Energy Department claim that 1.5 to 2 trillion barrels might ultimately be retorted out of the rock in the formation. (That's more than the current total global reserve of light sweet crude.)

But actually these are not Energy Department estimates as he states. Those estimates come from the Bartis report cited below. Bartis is a senior policy analyst with the Rand Corporation. His report was relied on heavily by researchers and writers of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. [Ed. with thanks to Tom Logan]

Raytheon process allows oil shale for sale, by Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald General Economics Reporter [2006 May 9]

"Raytheon Co. and CF Technologies think they’ve developed a breakthrough technology that could help ease the nation’s energy supply woes.

The Waltham-based Raytheon and Hyde Park-based CF said yesterday they’ve jointly come up with a new process that would allow companies to tap into huge underground U.S. shale reserves that can be turned into oil.

The technology entails transmitting radio frequencies into the ground, heating up hydrocarbons in shale and then injecting them with critical fluids that force oil toward wells.

The process is cheaper and more efficient than current technologies used to extract oil from shale, Raytheon said. With oil prices now hovering near historic highs, the technology could help make shale extraction more economically viable for oil companies.

There is an estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil in the nation’s shale reserves, located mostly in the Rocky Mountain region. Canada also has huge reserves of tar sand, which Raytheon believes its technology could extract oil from as well.

Raytheon said the technology was an offshoot of prior work with CF in defense-related projects.

We took a (weapons) systems approach to the energy problem,” said John Cogliandro, Raytheon’s head engineer on the shale project.

Terri Campbell, a portfolio manager specializing in energy at Boston’s Eastern Bank, said recent price spikes in crude oil have made shale a more affordable investment for the oil industry.

She said extracting oil from shale or sand tar wouldn’t solve the long-term energy crisis. But it would help delay the depletion of oil resources across the globe, she said."

Oil Shale Development in the United States: Prospects and Policy Issues, by James T. Bartis, Tom LaTourrette, Lloyd Dixon, D.J. Peterson, and Gary Cecchine of the RAND Corporation [2005]
"This report presents an updated assessment of the viability of developing oil shale resources in the United States and related policy issues. The report describes the oil shale resources in the western United States; the suitability, cost, and performance of available technologies for developing the richest of those resources; and the key energy, environmental, land-use, and socioeconomic policy issues that need to be addressed by government decisionmakers in the near future."
The Illusive Bonanza: Oil Shale in Colorado, Pulling the Sword from the Stone, by Randy Udall and Steve Andrews
"Buried beneath the ground, in Colorado and Utah, are a trillion tons of oil shale. Throughout the 20th century, men have tried and tried again to unlock the energy contained in these rocks. To date, all efforts have failed. But every twenty or thirty years, when energy prices spike, a new attempt is mounted.... This paper explains why oil shale is so difficult to unlock, and why the “rock that burns” may never provide more than one percent of U.S. energy. Ancient gar, fossilized in oil shale"

Oil Shale Review, by Jean Laherrčre [2005 August]

"Andre Combaz who led the GERB (Groupe d’Etudes des Roches Bitumineuses) in the 1970s gave me several boxes of documents on oil shale. This data with my own file and what I could find on the web [are] analyzed in this review. Three annexes (A2005, A1999-2004 and A1965-1980) gather most of the data and are attached to this review.

"Oil shales are a misnomer being neither shale or oil, in fact an immature source-rock which has not yet generated any oil and needs to be heated at 600 °C to yield oil by pyrolysis. In fact they should be classified with coal and peat..."

Shale-oil dream ends in company collapse by Brian Robins, Sydney [2003 December 3]

Suncor: climate villain.

Suncor announced today that it was abandoning the Stuart Oil Shale Project adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The Shale Oil Project is the first major fossil fuel development in the world to be dropped because of its massive greenhouse problem, Greenpeace said.

The days of fossil fuels are numbered as businesses realise the financial liabilities associated with greenhouse emissions.

Read the latest Greenpeace press release

Greenpeace's campaign against shale oil

Sydney [2001 April 6]

See also Tar Sands.

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