PETROLEUM- Shale Oil and Tar Sands
OIL SHALE’S ENERGY RETURN ON ENERGY INVESTMENT
Findings show oil shale is, at best, a marginal energy source
Shale oil may have an EROEI of approximately 4, while tar sands would come in at 3 and oil shale would be 2 or less.
Findings show oil shale is, at best, a marginal energy source…Learn more>>
WHAT ARE TAR SANDS?
Tar sands (also known as oil sands) are a mixture of mostly sand, clay, water, and a thick, molasses-like substance called bitumen. Bitumen is made of hydrocarbons—the same molecules in liquid oil—and is used to produce gasoline and other petroleum products.
Extracting bitumen from tar sands—and refining it into products like gasoline—is significantly costlier and more difficult than extracting and refining liquid oil…Learn more>>
Environmental Impacts Of Tar Sands
…Tar sands also impact water supplies. For every gallon of gasoline produced by tar sands, about 5.9 gallons of freshwater are consumed during the extraction, upgrading, and refining process. That’s roughly three times as much as used for conventional oil.…Learn More>>
WHAT ARE TAR SANDS?
Tar sands, are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil. Tar sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil. The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined,
were at one point crude oil, but because of hydrocarbon-eating bacteria and other environmental degredation, much of the material that could have been turned into a fuel is gone. The bulk of what remains is:… Learn more>>
TAR SANDS RESOURCES
Much of the world’s oil (more than 2 trillion barrels) is in the form of tar sands, although it is not all recoverable…In the United States, tar sands resources are primarily concentrated in Eastern Utah, mostly on public lands. The in-place tar sands oil resources in Utah are estimated at 12 to 19 billion barrels…Learn more>>
THE TAR SANDS INDUSTRY
Currently, oil is not produced from tar sands on a significant commercial level in the United States; in fact, only Canada has a large-scale commercial tar sands industry, though a small amount of oil from tar sands is produced commercially in Venezuela.
CLEARING UP THE CONFUSION OVER SHALE
There are three types of energy deposits with very similar names that have recently become known to the public. While it is easy to confuse the three, they are all vastly different in their physical properties, their commercial value, and the methods required to extract them. One is a liquid, one is a gas, and the other is a solid.
-The Liquid: Shale oil – Shale oil is real liquid crude oil trapped within tight, impervious rock formations.
-The Gas: Shale gas – Shale gas is the natural gas equivalent to shale oil.
WHAT IS OIL SHALE?
Oil shale was formed millions of years ago by deposition of silt and organic debris on lake beds and sea bottoms. Over long periods of time, heat and pressure transformed the materials into oil shale in a process similar to the process that forms oil; however, the heat and pressure were not as great…Learn more>>
OIL SHALE RESOURCES
Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, the estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the Green River Formation would last for more than 400 years…Learn more>>
THE OIL SHALE INDUSTRY
Relatively high prices for conventional oil in the 1970s and 1980s stimulated interest and some development of better oil shale technology, but oil prices eventually fell, and major research and development activities largely ceased. More recently,…Learn more>>
OIL SHALE MINING AND PROCESSING
The development of a commercial oil shale industry in the United States would also have significant social and economic impacts on local communities. Other impediments to development of the oil shale industry in the United States include the relatively high cost of producing oil from oil shale (currently greater than $60 per barrel), and the lack of regulations to lease oil shale…Learn more>>
While current technologies are adequate for oil shale mining, the technology for surface retorting has not been successfully applied at a commercially viable level in the United States, although technical viability has been demonstrated. Further development and testing of surface retorting technology is needed before the method is likely to succeed on a commercial scale….Learn more>>
IN SITU RETORTING
Shell Oil is currently developing an in situ conversion process (ICP). The process involves heating underground oil shale, using electric heaters placed in deep vertical holes drilled through a section of oil shale. The volume of oil shale is heated over a period of two to three years, until it reaches 650–700 °F, at which point oil is released from the shale. The released product is gathered in collection wells positioned within the heated zone….Learn more>> ostseis.anl.gov
GUIDE TO OIL SHALE & TAR SANDS PROJECTS
-Oil Shale Projects -Tar Sands Projects -Other Potential Oil Shale and Tar Sands Projects…Learn more>>