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horse_traderxx Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 09:08 PM
Original message
Edited on Fri Dec-07-07 09:16 PM by horse_traderxx
Having recently read a very enlightening article in The Daily Reckoning written by Dan Denning, I feel compelled to pass along a short version of what he had to say.

The article was written about shale oil reserves right here in Good Ole U.S.A. and the abundance of shale oil within. It seems that there are vast amounts of shale oil deposits a mere thousand feet below the surface of the ground in Colorado and other large deposits in Utah and Wyoming. These reserves are tremendous, totaling an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels of oil - or more than five times the stated reserves of Saudi Arabia. Another beautiful thing is that most of the shale oil reserves are under the control of the U.S. government and have been for almost a century. These reserves were first developed by the Navy from 1910 thru 1925 to insure that while converting their ships from coal to petroleum, there would always be an adequate and safe supply of fuel available. The reserve program became official in 1927 and was expanded by President Roosevelt in 1942.

Of course, along with this great news, there is always a down side.The first question is, what does it cost to get shale oil from under the ground and into the gas tank, secondly, what is the price for doing so, and thirdly, what are the affects on the ecology?

Early attempts at extracting the oil from the shale proved to be slow, expensive and an ecological disaster. Though billions of dollars were spent by the government and Exxon Mobil, no practical means were devised to produce sufficient results. Originally, shale was mined and hauled to a processing plant, crushed into small chunks and the petroleum product, kerogen was extracted. Then the kerogen was hydrogenated with the use of large amounts of water, leaving behind contaminated water and shale residue laden with heavy metals,toxic, but now chemically-activated crap with no cheap way to dispose of it. So, on May 2, 1982, funding was stopped and everyone picked up their ball and went home.

Since that time, Shell has been experimenting with a whole new way of approaching the problem by using an in ground conversion and recovery process (ICP), and has sucessfully produced in excess of 1,400 barrels of light oil and associated gas. This result was from a very small test plot using their newly developed technology called "in situ" mining which requires no excavating. Since oil is naturally formed by pressure and heat, "in situ" mining uses the same principals to speed up natures process.

So, again I ask, what are we waiting for? With the basic technology on the table, why aren't we pushing for everything we're worth to fine tune the process and become totally free from the petroleum pimps and whores of the world. How great it would be to be able to one finger salute the entire Middle East and send OPEC an UP YOUR ASS get well card. Wouldn't it be great for the lines of Chinese ships in our harbors to be tankers begging for oil instead of delivering lead poisoned toys for our children?
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Upside: Reduction of dependence on foreign oil. Downside: Worse
The eastern slope of the Rockies in North America does indeed contain a mother lode of fossil fuel, enabling the US and Canada to be free for centuries from petroleum imports.

But if we continue to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, what are the long-term costs?

We simply can't continue down the road of expanding the use of ancient sunlight conversion into carbon dioxide without turning into Venus.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. oil shale
Econbrowser: Oil shale retort
Oil Shale - the Third Boom | JUICE: Alternate Fuels World

or tar sand/oil sands
Oil Sands Frenzy in Canada: Black Gold, Black Death - Looking Glass News
FuturePundit: Shell Oil Shale Extraction Technology Economically Viable?

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