In the American west: An ocean of oil

posted at 7:31 pm on May 13, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

In case you missed it – and you very well might have, since the media was too busy talking about gay marriage to be bothered – a rather remarkable thing happened in Washington this week. An auditor from the GAO testified before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on the subject of energy. But instead of hearing about how horrible things are, she calmly delivered something of a bombshell.

“The Green River Formation–an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming–contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale,”Anu K. Mittal, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environment said in written testimony submitted to the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

Read those last two sentences again and think about it for a moment. The largest remaining reserves of oil on the planet are not in Saudi Arabia or buried under the frozen steppes of the former Soviet Union. They’re here in the United States. Combined with the massive resources in western Canada, that means that North America is the King of Oil for the future. But what – if anything – will we do about it?

The vast majority of this supply is shale oil, a form which was essentially useless to us only a few decades ago, but now we know how to get it. And if you want to avoid ripping up the entire landscape, that means horizontal drilling and fracking. Unfortunately for us, this is one of those rare areas where the government actually can make a difference, for better or worse. The Obama administration continues to claim that they are pursuing an “all of the above” energy policy, but at the same time they are jumping in with new regulations regarding fracking.

If we move forward on this aggressively, the industry can safely access these resources which would significantly strengthen our hand on the international stage. But with the wrong approach, Washington could hog tie energy developers with excessive, expensive regulations or shut the entire process down by failing to issue permits to develop resources on these federal lands.

The public disclosure of these reserves is good news, but it’s only the beginning. And while I feel some trepidation in saying it, I’m afraid the ball is in Barack Obama’s court.


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Comment pages: 1 2

cozmo on May 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Oil is in fact brewing. It is all the dead phytoplankton in deep water at mouths of rivers. It has no oxygen and gets covered up by sediment. That is the muck that is several feet thick and not a rocky bottom off the mouth of the Mississippi.

The problem with the earth just making oil and gas out of nothing is possible but ALL oil/as ever discovered comes from ancient phytoplankton. ALL of it and proven.

Ever notice that the only people who promote abiotic seem to be those who want to disprove evolution?

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

john1schn on May 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

You don’t know the half of it, and the profits being made are not just by drilling/producing. I know folks who barely able to pay their light bills a few years ago and have made $100′s of million since.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Ever notice that the only people who promote abiotic seem to be those who want to disprove evolution?

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Never cared that much about it. The warm blooded/cold blooded argument for dinosaurs and plate tectonics was more interesting.

I only note it because it seems to appear every time the world’s total proven oil reserves increases by a very large number.

cozmo on May 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I know what we are going to do with it!!!

The feds will deam that some strange mountain turtle lives there and mining for this would danger the ecosystem of said mountain turtle. So that alone is means to ban any kind of mining or fossil fuel extraction from this area.

watertown on May 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM

cozmo on May 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

3D & 4D seismology along with new software to enable seismographs to look BELOW the subsalt zones, PLUS ability to drill in deeper water and deeper still in the ground.

FYI, oil drilling a production uses materials not even tried for NASA and Military yet. Proved in HTHP drilling/wells then pitch to government.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM

cozmo on May 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

The abiotic argument seems to always point to the “limitless” oil at a Ship Shoal block lease off the coast of Louisiana. The problem is that old technology never showed the formation below which flowed upward along a fault line when the pressure above was alleviated.

That Ship Shoal lease is played out now.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM

They did not produce for decades.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Your are correct they have not been in commercial production. But have had the technology for production for decades. Thought that was what I said. Interesting regarding what oil is they don’t know according to the lube oil people. Most likely it is organic but they are not positive. Another interesting fact is that oil like water does not break down it just gets dirty. The additives do which is why you have to change your oil. I was a jobber for quite a while so we got interesting information from time to time. You know like the world was running out of oil when Anwar was gone. They missed that one by just a little bit. Arco’s attitude was sell it well’ find more and undercut all comers. Guess who was right.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Has anyone heard of “Renewable Oil”? You should do a Google search for that term and you will see lots of links to stories about how a depleted wells oil’s are being found with more oil in them with a different chemical signature than the oil from the well originally had.
And a lot more about how oil is being formed just above the earth’s core by heat, pressure and from Methane, continually and lots more. Lots of material to read and digest. All in all, no way we will ever run out of oil.

jtpcamp on May 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM

As a petroleum geologist and operator active in North Dakota and Montana, let me put in my two cents here.

The Green River oil shale is not very economical and would need huge amounts of scarce water to extract it.

On the other hand, however, North Dakota’s Williston Basin has just had its recoverable reserves (already 5 billion barrels-plus) raised for the Bakken twin, the Three Forks formation, so that should raise North Dakota above Texas in recoverable reserves and, eventually, daily oil production.

TexasJew on May 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

“All of the above” certainly sounds reasonable but is it? It’s like using an “all of the above” strategy in war too: Why not use tanks, infantrymen, air power, cavalry, pikemen, long bows and cross bows. “All of the above” really means you are pushing good ideas and bad ideas equally. And while that certainly sounds like the strategy this administration is using, is it the strategy we should be using?

Fred 2 on May 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Here’s another potential non-subsidized source of fuel:

http://fiscalwars.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/fueling-energy-without-subsidies-biofuels-digest/

Ever since the Boeing fiasco when the Dept. of Labor tried to keep them from moving part of their operations to from Washington to S. Carolina, I’ve wondered if there is a concerted effort by the administration to divert jobs to blue states. Politically speaking, the obstruction of the Keystone pipeline and opposition to fracking kills two birds with one stone by appeasing the flat-earthers on the far left and keeping unemployment in red states artificially high.

stout77 on May 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM

“All of the above” certainly sounds reasonable but is it? It’s like using an “all of the above” strategy in war too: Why not use tanks, infantrymen, air power, cavalry, pikemen, long bows and cross bows. “All of the above” really means you are pushing good ideas and bad ideas equally. And while that certainly sounds like the strategy this administration is using, is it the strategy we should be using?

Fred 2 on May 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

I would say yes so long as each component is self-sustaining and not artificially kept afloat by taxpayers.

http://www.fiscalwars.wordpress.com

stout77 on May 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM

The Green River oil shale is not very economical and would need huge amounts of scarce water to extract it.

TexasJew on May 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

You have just enunciated the means whereby a BHO admin and EPA would block production permits for the Green River Fm.

And the reason why the Williston Basin will continue to be a better play.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on May 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Oh, leave it be. Most folks still think brontosaurus existed.

cozmo on May 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Leave [brontosaurus] alone! Brontosaurus did exist, we just know him as apatosaurus.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM

There is so much oil and gas off the coast of California that it is leaking by itself into the ocean. More oil leaks into the ocean off Coal Oil Point, California in a year than was spilled by man from ocean drilling in the entire decade of the 1990′s.

Even onshore the stuff leaks out of hillsides and runs in ditches along the side of the road on hot days. Sometimes natural petroleum seeps will even catch fire in California.

crosspatch on May 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM

There you go again

… dragging facts into a discussion on oil production. You are going to end up on government watch list …

/s (I hope)

PolAgnostic on May 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM

I know what we are going to do with it!!!


And I know what we need to do.

get Palin appointed to the energy department, which will be the most sure garantee that we will drill what we can and that revenue will go to the people, like in Alaska.

get Rush to head up the EPA. That is the most sure garantee that (1) Rush will be off the air for 1 day and (2) the EPA will be dismantled in 1 day.

huntingmoose on May 14, 2012 at 1:53 AM

As a petroleum geologist and operator active in North Dakota and Montana, let me put in my two cents here.

The Green River oil shale is not very economical and would need huge amounts of scarce water to extract it.

On the other hand, however, North Dakota’s Williston Basin has just had its recoverable reserves (already 5 billion barrels-plus) raised for the Bakken twin, the Three Forks formation, so that should raise North Dakota above Texas in recoverable reserves and, eventually, daily oil production.

TexasJew on May 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

TexasJew, my sister lives in Williston, and was living there long before the oil boom. My Mother lives in Bottineau near the edge of the Bakken.

I say, and they, luck to you all because everything you guys are doing are helping fuel America. The media portrays so many horrible things happening there because of oil, and there are issues because of booming, but horrible because of oil it is not.

91Veteran on May 14, 2012 at 2:01 AM

Another good reason to move full speed ahead on energy production:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NE12Dj03.html

http://www.fiscalwars.wordpress.com

stout77 on May 14, 2012 at 2:10 AM

So the Rand Corporation announces that there’s oil in Colorado.

With the current administration in office, is it wrong that my first thought was of Wyatt’s Torch?

malclave on May 14, 2012 at 2:14 AM

To follow up on my comment about my sister living in Williston, it would be helpful to those American citizens living there if the Fed helped removing the illegal aliens flocking there, with their crime. My niece and her husband will no longer go to certain areas at night because of the harassment from illegals….including the local Wal-Mart.
Yes, for the trolls, there is crime from non-illegals, but the crime from illegals is especially bad because they know there will not be anything significant done to remove them, since they know the Feds will not do their job.

91Veteran on May 14, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Why are we not drilling this?
Oh wait, never mind, I remember who our President is.

Blu3Yeti on May 14, 2012 at 4:05 AM

in o’s court until january.

Molonlabe2004 on May 14, 2012 at 4:18 AM

The word power comes to my mind when I read about oil reserves. Reality goes out the window and power and money takes its place. About ten percent of our population works for the government and I shutter when I think of the employees that need to justify their job by doing something, anything to do that. Our elite media uses the terms greed of corporations and oil companies to instill fear in the population while the facts prove otherwise. Oil companies realize about five cents on a gallon of gas while here in NYS the tax is about 46.5 cents per gallon the highest in the nation. Who owns the corporations but the stockholders. Some own thousands of shares while some only have a few shares and they are all taxed on the profits that they realize from their investments. Look at the power the EPA has and how they use it. I cannot imagine the mental process needed to fine a couple with all the necessary permits and variants they were mandated to provide before they started building their dream.
Take a few minutes and read the amount of agencies we have that justify a position in the government, I refer to them as federal entitlement programs. http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

mixplix on May 14, 2012 at 4:30 AM

EPA and Obama want to HIDE this Info from YOU

“The Green River Formation–an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming–contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale,”

…almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

….And, this is with using TODAY’s Technology

BigSven on May 14, 2012 at 5:56 AM

….And, this is with using TODAY’s Technology

BigSven on May 14, 2012 at 5:56 AM

I don’t think Duh Won likes the idea of technology being advanced without government sanction and control. If private enterprise and initiative can’t be regulated into submission, it must be eliminated. Yeah, I know…crazy.

swinia sutki on May 14, 2012 at 6:41 AM

The fact that an huge quantity of oil is in the Green River Basin and that a significant fraction is recoverable has been known for at least a decade. The fact that a bureaucrat in our disfuntional government would publically make an HONEST AND THOUGHTFUL assesment is newsworthy!

burt on May 14, 2012 at 6:49 AM

jtpcamp on May 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Keep on Google searching away and you might even find that…

1. The field where this has occurred has played out.

2. It was an older formation not seen with then existing technology which migrated upwards through a geological fault into the upper zone. This only happened AFTER pressure was relieved in the above, KNOWN zone.

You info is half full, and this has been known since it occurred. But hey, WND et al, loves “facts”

Kermit on May 14, 2012 at 7:43 AM

burt on May 14, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Actually DECADES, but cost to produce has been the roadblock. Oil needs to be above $84 per bbl and be assured of being that high before such extraction could break even. Business and investors is not in business to break even.

Kermit on May 14, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Ever notice that the only people who promote abiotic seem to be those who want to disprove evolution?

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Really?

Tell that to NASA.

Hydrocarbons are nothing more than long-chain molecules. There isn’t anything special about them that requires organic life to create them. Abiotic processes have been found all over our own solar system that create an abundance of all sorts of chemicals, including hydrocarbons. There is no reason why these same processes of heat, cold, pressure and time couldn’t easily create hydrocarbons here on Earth too.

And really, using an absolute term like “ALL” to describe a natural process? Tsk tsk tsk. Foolishness.

wearyman on May 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

When you think of the benefits to the economy, national security, and foreign affairs this is a “no-brainer”. Mitt Romney needs to attack this relentlessly.

diogenes on May 14, 2012 at 8:46 AM

3D & 4D seismology along with new software to enable seismographs to look BELOW the subsalt zones, PLUS ability to drill in deeper water and deeper still in the ground.

Sort of… just because you have 3 and 4-D, doen’t mean that the black splotch in the area under a salt dome is going to have oil. Don’t lie to these people. 80% of these salty subzones have some type of oil…. but in many cases there is a crap load of water associated with it.

FYI, oil drilling a production uses materials not even tried for NASA and Military yet. Proved in HTHP drilling/wells then pitch to government.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Kermit, how about telling them how the government gets that information?
HTHP (High Temp/High Pressure) for those who don’t know, are used all over the world. Siberia is one who has extremely high pressures. Temp wise, the middles east has some recorded highest temps in the bottom of drilling holes, as does africa.

upinak on May 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

The public disclosure of these reserves is good news, but it’s only the beginning. And while I feel some trepidation in saying it, I’m afraid the ball is in Barack Obama’s court.

Campaign theme: “Time to replace this limp-wristed sissy with someone would understands economics.”

Jaibones on May 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Two birds, oil and gas, with one stone:

Øbama will de facto ban fracking by administrative regulation in 5… 4… 3…

petefrt on May 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

This announcement should be a cornerstone of Romney’s campaign. He should do a campaign stop in South Dakota, which is booming because of the Bakken fields. And then ask America – don’t you want more towns to be busy and prosperous like this?

hawksruleva on May 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I am currently considering buying a prius because i’d save about $2,500 a year vs. my jeep and its possible $4 gas may be here for years and i do not see job growth or wage growth coming for years because both parties have increased our debt for a decade and refused to do anything serious about more onshore drilling for decades.

I should not be concerned about a job or gas prices if DC actually tried to keep the US the best it could be.

And this is the best country there is. Shameful.

cougar on May 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM

As a petroleum geologist and operator active in North Dakota and Montana, let me put in my two cents here.

The Green River oil shale is not very economical and would need huge amounts of scarce water to extract it.

On the other hand, however, North Dakota’s Williston Basin has just had its recoverable reserves (already 5 billion barrels-plus) raised for the Bakken twin, the Three Forks formation, so that should raise North Dakota above Texas in recoverable reserves and, eventually, daily oil production.

TexasJew on May 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

I did my field camp with UWYO in the Uinta/Sheep Creek area in SW WY etc. Boy that place is DRY. Desert.
Here in ND there is so much water. Even in a drought the water table is quite high.
We have springs all over our property. It’s incredible how much water there is here.
THIS will be the issue they hammer on: water.
I forsee without Federal meddling, the Bakken going way more nuts.
If they could stop with the meddling, even where I live in Hettinger co would see more development, I’m sure.
Pipeline roadblocks, EPA roadblocks etc. are keeping this area from exploding with development even more than it is now.
We in E. Hettinger co are seeing a trickling of ‘refugees’ in the hunt for housing already.
I don’t begrudge the development.
But I am a little saddened I’m going to have to maybe lock my doors.
I don’t even know where the keys are…..

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM

TexasJew on May 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

BTW-I’ve been curious.
Is there need enough for mudloggers that they’d take summer help?
I’m just curious bcs I’ve been thinking of looking into it as a HS teacher, work some in the summer doing that.
I’ve not mudlogged before.
So I’m not sure if it’s a ‘who you know’ thing or not.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

get Palin appointed to the energy department, which will be the most sure garantee that we will drill what we can and that revenue will go to the people, like in Alaska.

get Rush to head up the EPA. That is the most sure garantee that (1) Rush will be off the air for 1 day and (2) the EPA will be dismantled in 1 day.

huntingmoose on May 14, 2012 at 1:53 AM

.
I second the motion.

I’m not sure Rush will take the pay-cut, but it’s a great idea.
: )

listens2glenn on May 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM

It is a misleading title to this article.

First of all, it is not oil, it is kerogen. Kerogen can be processed, with oil as a product, requiring a lot of energy and water.

And the term “ocean” is also false, because that still implies some vast pool of liquid oil, which again is nothing at all like kerogen. You would think form this title, that there is some giant vast pool of liquid petroleum oil sitting out west, and its not true.

firepilot on May 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

BTW-I’ve been curious.
Is there need enough for mudloggers that they’d take summer help?
I’m just curious bcs I’ve been thinking of looking into it as a HS teacher, work some in the summer doing that.

I did some mud logging before I being a pilot. Enjoyed it, it was at least doing some actual science in the field.

It was not hard science at all, anyone who understood the basics of freshman level physical geology and could tell apart limestone from granite from sandstone, could do it.

firepilot on May 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

firepilot on May 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Well I only toured a couple of drilling rigs a while back & this lady who started this company was there talking about it.
I realize it’s not hard. You just get trained on the software etc.
What I’m concerned about is who gets hired.
Is it a ‘who you know’ thing for someone like me who can’t do it full time & only wants to do it on a limited basis or not.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Oh lord the morons actually believe that oil comes from dinosaurs, rather than phytoplankton.

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Neither. There has never been an iota of evidence of dna or other biological matter in crude oil. Not dinosaurs, not phytoplankton, none of the above. Crude oil seeps upwards into every ocean of the world from several miles below the floor, where no life exists nor ever has. There is no earth mechanism for depositing, compressing, and de-cellularizing dead phytoplankton into spaces far below the ocean floors. Any biologic connection made for crude oil is done to provide a source for fear of permanent loss of a resource, when it is a byproduct of internal processes.

Freelancer on May 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Here is the way I see our energy potential. As large as shale oil is shale gas dwarfs it. The inter mountain area is dry and if it is more advantageous to produce in the Bakken first because of the water so be it. As for the long term in the inter mountain area technology will deal with that and if not water can be piped in from areas with surplus. Shale oil is not a matter of years but decades in the same area. My understanding of the process is close to a leach pad for gold. You just keep circulating solution until the gold is extracted. That will go on decades after the actual mining is finished. They heat the ore and recover the liquid likely for decades. The drilling is pretty much over at that point. Probably simplistic but that is my understanding of the process.

Already they are using propane to frack with shale gas rather than water. Apparently it is cheaper under the right conditions and does not leave unwanted water in the hole. Technology is not static and we are dealing with centuries of surplus energy if produced.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Hmmm… Colorado set to become the biggest source of oil in the world, with some help from a revolutionary drilling technique? Makes one wonder if Ayn Rand had more going for her than just logic when she wrote “Atlas Shrugged”.

John_W on May 14, 2012 at 12:36 PM

As for the long term in the inter mountain area technology will deal with that and if not water can be piped in from areas with surplus.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Good luck with that.
CO has tried stealing NE’s water. Don’t know if they succeeded, but water is such a precious commodity in the West it’s not as simple as you suggest.
I’m all for development. But considering the tremendous amount of water fraking seems to require, I am betting it’s not going to be an easy sell to the states that would have to give up their water, even at a nice price.
This sort of thing might reduce the available water/quality for others & this does matter.
Water wars are continually fought in the west btwn people and States.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

Read those last two sentences again and think about it for a moment.

Hold on Jazz:

Didn’t we discover that the word “proven” means approved for extraction, drilled and with a well head ready for pumping? And that’s what allowed Obama to say that we have 3% of the worlds proven oil reserves? Now we’re comparing our “estimated” oil reserves to the world’s “proven” oil reserves and saying that we have half. This just isn’t right.

elfman on May 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This just old news, and a lot of hype by shale oil hucksters looking to steal more of our money. Back in the early 80′s during the second phony “oil shortage”, the federal government bankrolled the oil shale business on the Western slope of Colorado. It was going to produce high cost oil from the shale that would be competitive with oil at high prices. As soon as oil prices fell, shale oil was no longer competitive and it was shut down.

From wikipedia:

In 1972, the first modified in situ oil shale experiment in the United States was conducted by Occidental Petroleum at Logan Wash, Colorado.[45] Due to the 1973 oil crisis, the oil shale industry restarted in several countries. The United States Navy and the Office of Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves started evaluations of oil shale’s suitability for military fuels, such as jet fuels, marine fuels and a heavy fuel oil. Shale-oil based JP-4 jet fuel was produced until the early 1990s, when it was replaced with kerosene-based JP-8.[41] In 1974 the United States Department of the Interior announced an oil shale leasing program in the oil shale regions of Colorado and Utah, and by the early 1980s almost all of the major oil companies had established oil shale pilot projects.

The United States oil shale industry collapsed when oil prices fell in the early 1980s. On 2 May 1982, known as “Black Sunday”, Exxon canceled its US$5 billion Colony Shale Oil Project near Parachute, Colorado because of low oil-prices and increased expenses, laying off more than 2,000 workers and leaving a trail of home-foreclosures and small-business bankruptcies.[9][46] In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 which among other things abolished the United States’ Synthetic Liquid Fuels Program.[41] The last oil shale retort in the United States, operated by Unocal Corporation, closed in 1991.[47]

Because of the success of oil shale-based power generation, Estonian oil shale production peaked in 1980 at 31.35 million tonnes. The largest oil shale mine in the world – the Estonia Mine – was opened in 1972.[48] However, production decreased in Estonia during the 1990s, due to reduced demand from the power generation industry. It was mainly affected by construction of the nuclear power plants in the Soviet Union. Most of Russian oil shale mines were closed in the 1990s and production continued only on a small scale.[10]

In Israel, a 0.1 MW pilot oil shale-fired power plant was tested in 1982–1986. A demonstration fluidised-bed plant became operational in 1989.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_oil_shale_industry#1970s.E2.80.931980s

Shale oil is expensive to produce and does a huge amount of environmental damage recovering it. It will probably never be cost effective when compared to typical oil production methods using drilling and fracking.

The people promoting this are seeking headlines so they can gin up support when they go to DC to get lots of our money to spend on themselves and some for over-priced oil shale production.

woodNfish on May 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

God hates Liberals and has a sense of humor:

1. Liberals= Global Warming! God: Temps go down

2. Liberals= Ozone Hole! God: Hole closes up

3. Liberals= Spotted Owls killed by Man! God: Owls displaced by different species

4. Liberals= Oil is Dinosaurs! God: Oil is from the Earth

5. Liberals= CO2 is evil! God: CO2 is plant food

6. Liberals= The Earth is overcrowded! God: Liberals don’t reproduce.

Bulletchaser on May 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

BREAKING!

New moon discovered in orbit around Saturn; NASA physicists say made of 100% liquid crude oil, 22,000 miles in diameter.

BobMbx on May 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Well I only toured a couple of drilling rigs a while back & this lady who started this company was there talking about it.
I realize it’s not hard. You just get trained on the software etc.
What I’m concerned about is who gets hired.
Is it a ‘who you know’ thing for someone like me who can’t do it full time & only wants to do it on a limited basis or not.

Badger40

My experience was back in 97, and was all hands no, no software, but there have been large strides in technology.

What it involved was looking under a magnifiying scope at what came up in the drilling mud, at the samples that would be bagged from every 10 feet of drilling, and then marking that lithology on a chart.

On that same chart I would chart spikes in gas sniffed out of the mud from a gas chromatography. And then the last thing was penetration rate for each 10 ft. And with all that, a pretty good chart of the geology there was made.

Later one of the companies like Halliburton or Schulumberger would then lower their “tools” which would measure more precisely via radioactivity or electrical resistance, and would pretty much line up with my mud logging chart.

Everyone was going to keep drilling, as long as oil would stay at $25 a barrel at least. Of course it did not, going down to 9 dollars, so drilling pretty much stopped except for the very large companies who plans these things years in advance and go on long term predictions.

firepilot on May 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM

The real issue is how do we advance the science of horizontal and/or slant drilling so we can access these oil reserves properly … with a well drilled in Texas. It’s going to take a mighty long string of pipe.

yetanotherjohn on May 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

BTW-I’ve been curious.
Is there need enough for mudloggers that they’d take summer help?
I’m just curious bcs I’ve been thinking of looking into it as a HS teacher, work some in the summer doing that.
I’ve not mudlogged before.
So I’m not sure if it’s a ‘who you know’ thing or not.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Lots of high school teachers would mudlog back in the Permian Basin in Texas.
Many of them had been geologists up to the early 1960s when the big companies let so many of them go.
I cut my teeth mudlogging in the 70s Austin Chalk boom when I was a teenage go-getter. Made all my geology coursework at UT/Austin make sense.

To your point: contact several mudlogging companies, such as Neset up in Tioga (Kathy Neset is a North Dakota legend) or Tooke Logging.
Those are the two main ones. But there are a number of others.

TexasJew on May 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

wearyman on May 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I believe that the context is oil produced here on earth from the ground. Yes it has been synthesized in the lab from other than decayed lifeforms, but there are traces of those dead life forms in all oil produced here on earth.

Kermit on May 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

TexasJew on May 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Thanks for the info.
Kathy seems so nice.
It’s such a cute story how she found her hubby & settled here.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

This has been known for at least a few years.

Olo_Burrows on May 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Water wars are continually fought in the west btwn people and States.

Badger40 on May 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

You are absolutely correct regarding the issue. But if I can be done it will if the price is right. These are developments which may last a century or more. Sometimes the laws are the issue. In Nevada gold mines tried to get rid of excess water they pump out of their pits by selling it but if they became a water purveyor they were on the hook permanently. So they just flush it down the river. 40,000 per minute if my memory serves me right. Year in and year out.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM

But if I can be done it will if the price is right.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM

It should be done.
Problem is it will never happen I’m sure bcs you cannot get rid of the corrupt lawyer/enviro suing infrastructure so easily that’s in place now sucking off of EAJA funds.

Badger40 on May 15, 2012 at 7:52 AM

You all have it wrong. The Oprompta Administration, by seizing all producing and high-potential areas, is simply protecting the collateral the Chinese demand to keep giving us loans.

PJ Emeritus on May 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

The public disclosure of these reserves is good news, but it’s only the beginning. And while I feel some trepidation in saying it, I’m afraid the ball is in Barack Obama’s court.

Trust me on this one, our Kenyan Communist Muslim-In-Chief will go out of his way to fumble the ball and drive this country further into complete ruination. November can’t come soon enough.

CatchAll on May 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Ever notice that the only people who promote abiotic seem to be those who want to disprove evolution?

Kermit on May 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Kermit, Kermit!

Ever notice those who hold to your theory are those who promote evolution?

davidk on May 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

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