The commenters on this article perpetuate numerous myths regarding oil shale.
For more than 100 years, oil shale has been an organic rich rock that yields
hydrocarbon liquids (shale oil) when heated under appropriate conditions. The
new "shale oil" should be labeled "shale-hosted oil" to
acknowledge priority of the term. Numerous processes currently are capable of
economic production, and Estonia currently meets EU environmental regulations.
Energy return is positive (2.5:1 to 11:1, depending on process). Water use is
less than for biofuel, and could produce 10% of U. S. fuel needs for 2% of the
allocation for the Colorado River. Most oil shale processes do not require
hydraulic fracturing. Much of the information opponents claim is not available
has been presented , but ignored by these opponents and the current
administration. Oil shale will face significant challenges to become a
significant resource, and will take at least a decade to reach significant
production. However, it deserves the opportunity to demonstrate that it can be
produced in an economically and environmentally sound manner, rather than
prejudged on the basis of outdated information peddled by politicians and other
The DNews Editorial Board just lost their credibility with me. First, oil shale
is different than shale oil. Shale oil is actual crude oil that is trapped deep
in shale formations. The horrendous, environmentally-destructive process called
hydraulic fracturing that is now the widespread method of obtaining shale gas is
what is used for shale oil. Pumping millions of gallons of water, benzene, and
diesel fuel deep underground to force the hydrocarbons out. Anyone who thinks
this is responsible way to fuel your SUV so you can drive to 7-11 for your
mega-monster diet coke is sadly misinformed. As is the editorial board. Oil shale is still not oil. It's a rock. And a very young rock at
that, which contains Kerogen, not oil. Kerogen is a wax, a precursor to oil, gas
or coal. Trying to obtain oil from this rock is tantamount to attempting to
speed up the geological process by about 5 million years. It's not
financially viable or technically easy. This ridiculous process is
being proposed in the watershed that provides drinking water to about 30 million
people in the West.
One fallacy that often comes out in these posts is that, if we just produce a
little more, the price at the pump will come down. OIl trades at the world
price, and we don't have enough to effectively modify that price in any
meaningful way. In fact, high prices help drive domestic exploration.
"according to the International Energy Agency, shale oil resources will
allow the United States to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil
exporter before the decade is out."This is really funny. What
the report says is even without any shale oil, the US is on a path to surpass
Saudi Arabia.... but nice try to twist this. Lets repeat that. With existing
projects under way right now..... not adding shale.... we will surpass the
Saudis. This will be accomplished mostly via fracking. The down side is
fracking reserves draw down much faster than traditional reserves do.The IEA credits Bush for kicking off programs, and credits Obama with
expanding those programs. But reporting the news as it actually was reported,
just not good enough for the desired political drama needed.I
understand Utah wants to develop its own resources to develop jobs here and now,
but in the long run, sitting on these reserves and leveraging the later will
actually be financial better for Utah when oil prices increase again when these
other new methods have run their course. You can sell when market
prices are cheap, or sell when market values are higher.
No, VST, the reason the pipeline was proposed to end at the Gulf coast is
because the oil would be loaded onto tankers to haul it to other countries.That oil was not actually going to reduce prices in the United States.
To "LDS Tree-Hugger" at least 50%, according to the CBO (governmetn) is
recoverable in the Utah-Colorado oil shale deposit. That means that there is
800 billion barrels of oil shale sitting uder our feet. That is with using
current technology that the EPA (government) has determined is safe.So, since it is safe and economically viable, why oppose it?Lets
use a bleeding heart reason for allowing the drilling and extraction of oil from
Utah. The leases for the land, combined with the royalties paid to the state
and schools will allow for more money to spent on education, without raising
Re: "During his campaign, the president promised an "all of the
above" approach to domestic energy production."Unfortunately, though the President DID promise as much, that doesn't
mean he actually intends to implement such an approach.He has
consistently applied and signaled a continuation of his favored energy approach
-- pandering, punitive over-regulation, resulting in less available and WAY more
costly energy, coupled with crony-capitalist forays into expensive, loony,
not-ready-for-prime-time "green" ventures.That'll
certainly be his way of keeping his "promise."
Fact or Fake has a good point, there is an enormous amount of mis-information
floating around about energy production. I wish that writers, and editorial
boards would spend a little time researching energy sources before writing
articles on the subject. Oil shale, shale oil, and tar sands are
all "unconventional" energy, and are much costlier to produce than
large deposits of more fluid "conventional" oil. Rather than relying
on petroleum industry press releases, or Koch Brother funded "think
tanks", it is wise to review web site catering to energy professionals like
"The Oil Drum" or "Energy Bulletin".
This is one of those topics that seems to have very little of the truth. I live
in Eastern Utah and I don't know what the entire truth is. However, I do
know that the area sometimes is called desolate but in reality the area has
abundant wildlife and some beautiful rock formations. It is quite dry. Liberals
are always quick to state that it uses copious amounts of water. That is ten
year old propaganda. There are currently methods that use very little and
sometimes no water. the people trying to do the extraction and development are
not asking for government money. There are investors lined up and fighting to
get to that shale. I don't think any of them want any government help. That
just brings more headaches. I think Ultra Bob has the most reasonable
response. I really don't want to see oil shale development out here. I am a
little tired of the ill informed posts out there. I would like the truth on both
sides of the issue.
Shale oil is one thing. Oil shale is another. If you drill into a
'tight' formation, i.e into shale, and you fracture it, (frack) it,
the oil will be able to flow to the bore hole. That is shale oil.Oil shale is shale, but the organic in it is not liquid. It is kind of
rubbery stuff called kerogen. You can heat the stuff and break it down into oil
and then it will run. But to get oil from oil shale, you have to heat up the
rock somehow. A lot of things have been done. There was a retort at the top of
Daniels Canyon a 100 years ago run by a Chinaman who made candles for miners in
Park City.People have burned down houses by making the fireplace
from oil shale.Shale oil is probably a pretty good idea, if you are
OK with fracking (I am). I think that oil shale is a whole different story.
You would do a lot of hard rock mining, rubblize rocks, retort them, etc. It is
a big headache. In fact, having shale oil around makes oil shale unprofitable.
If Canadian oil is destined for the United States, why do they have to pipe it
all the way across the United States to the gulf ports in Texas? My guess is
that the Canadian oil is destined for the world market and the least cost way to
get it on ships is across the flat lands of America. Developing
American oil sources will not have any effect on the price of world oil. World
oil prices are controlled by the oil monopoly that is mainly controlled by
American oil interests. We should hold back and not develop or use our own
resources as long as we can get foreign oil just as cheap. The
clamor to develop American oil is a sham to get ownership of the American oil
resources into the hands of the rich and powerful oil monopoly people. The
ownership of the oil resources will give them an even tighter grip on the oil
monopoly. Controlling oil pretty well means the ability to control everything
for the time being.
The President is right -- And once there is an economically feisible
and safe method to extract and refine oil shale - we'll do it.Until them, keep it where it where God put it - safely under ground.
Red, that is NOT shale oil in North Dakota. You need to spend some time on
homework and learn more about a subject before spouting off.If oil
shale can be developed in a responsible, safe manner without consuming enormous
quantities of scarce water, and destroying large tracts of land, then go for
it.But until then, it should be held off limits except for some
carefully controlled and monitored test operations to find that kind of
operation. That's called Research and Development.
The oil is flowing in North Dakota. It works fine and has created tons of high
paying jobs.We needed President Romney to open things up.It is clear their is NO CONFIDENCE in Obama besides the people who have their
Does the Dnews have to publish these lobbyist pieces every few week alternating
with the nukes are good articles.The above posters are correct. And how do
you drill for Oil Shale? Oh yeah you make an impressive tear not unlike that
cool looking inverted mountain on the west side.
The shale in eastern Utah is not viable at this time. The yield is only 10%, or
less. That means for every 10 gallons of fuel created, it requires 9 gallons of
energy to produce. I don't know of any company who can make a profit on
that low of a yield. Unless the government is going to subsidize it, which as we
know is probably going to occur. Sounds like socialism, but when it's
a corporation on the receiving end it's fine with republicans.The
environmental costs far out weigh any possible advantage. It takes a tremendous
amount of water and leaves a horrible mess behind. Now is NOT the time to
refine oil shale in Utah.
I've haven't heard of any economically feasible oil shale developments
in the United States. It's used in Estonia, and is very dirty, even worse
than coal. Are you sure you aren't confusing oil shale/kerogen with tight
oil, also known as shale oil?