Skip to comments.A Real Energy Strategy for America: Shale Oil
Posted on 06/09/2008 6:03:48 AM PDT by K-oneTexas
A Real Energy Strategy for America: Shale Oil by Jonathon Moseley
May 31, 2008
If shallow talk could solve Americas energy crisis, politicians in Washington would have all the answers. But Americans are still carrying a crushing burden while little changes. Fortunately, there are many real solutions available for the U.S. economy even if the politicians dont seem to know it.
Americas dependence on foreign oil is more than a threat to our economy. It has become a threat to Americas national security. American money is being funneled to Americas enemies around the world and is strengthening our enemies while weakening America.
The Mid-West hides the largest untapped oil reserve in the world estimated at 1 to 2 TRILLION barrels of oil trapped inside shale (rock). This could be more than 8 times Saudi Arabias proven oil reserves of 261 billion barrels. In fact, an article in The Denver Post estimated this to be more than all the other oil reserves on the planet earth.
If only we could discover out how to extract this oil from its shale prison economically and with environmental safety, America might have the largest single source of oil in the world. So, why isnt the U.S. running on home-grown U.S. oil? There are four reasons all false.
Official Washington decided a long time ago that extracting oil from shale is too expensive. However, oil was trading for as little $19 per barrel at the time. Shale oil becomes competitive when prices stay consistently above $40 per barrel. In recent years, oil has risen from $19 per barrel to over $130 per barrel. It is now high time to unleash this vast resource.
The technology to extract usable oil from shale deposits has been proven. Shale oil currently supplies about 90% of the electricity and 76% of the total energy for Estonia, in Eastern Europe, on the Baltic Sea. An oil shale demonstration plant in Queensland, Australia produced 700,000 barrels of oil between 2001 and 2003.
Early reports dating to the Carter Administration incorrectly claimed that the retorting process would require large amounts of energy and water. Repetition of this false information in government studies has discouraged the immediate use of shale oil.
The Unocal commercial demonstration plant project in the Colorado Piceance Creek Basin actually produced more water than it consumed, as former Paraho Corporation head Larry Lukens found from talking with Unocals engineers. Colorado oil shale contains, on average, 2-5% by weight of water. That water is liberated from the rock during the retorting process. Unocal actually had to construct evaporation ponds to get rid of all the excess water generated.
Similarly, the waste rock, still containing some oil residue, becomes a fuel in its own right. So the process actually produces its own energy. Larry Lukens estimates that a 100,000 barrel a day plant would actually produce enough surplus energy to generate 500 megawatts of electrical power which can be exported to other uses or nearby cities. Once jump-started, the shale oil extraction process actually feeds itself. After all, it is oil we are extracting
The fourth obstacle is the popcorn myth. Environmental opponents claim that disposing of the left-over gravel will be a problem. However, rock does not expand. Instead, when rock is ground into smaller sizes, air pockets are introduced. The solution is to compact the gravel debris back into place with heavy machinery. The gravel is also good for building roads.
It is time to take the lessons from these demonstration projects and build much-more efficient retorting plants to harness Americas vast shale oil reserves now that oil is trading at $120 per barrel and up. This should be given a crash-program status as the highest priority, like landing a man on the moon and the Manhattan Project. The only real problem is the lack of political will to truly achieve energy independence.
Progress on shale oil could be stimulated by (a) private business, (b) a consortium of State governments for States containing shale oil deposits, (c) Congress, or (d) the President through leadership of the bully pulpit and through action in the Executive Federal Departments. Any Presidential or Congressional candidate could also call attention to this opportunity by issuing a John F. Kennedy style challenge to the nation.
Jonathon Moseley is the Executive Director of the U.S. Seaports Commission for the nonprofit US Intelligence Council
Private business should do this, if it is to be done at all. The fact that they haven’t suggests to me that it’s more hype than anything else, much like the other pi in the sky solutions to the energy crisis.
I wonder if anyone has considered the idea of drilling into the shale to see if there are pockets of pumpable oil, possibly even a massive reserve somewhere down there?
We may eventually go this route. In any event it looks like we are in for a painful decade or so while the energy situation shakes out.
Local water supplies for processing?
No way they will let THAT happen.
We have either a quart bottle or two trillion barrels of oil locked up in shale. Something like that.
Well, perhaps not, you idiot, but it sure as hell would help those of us who aren't on the take to survive $4/gallon gas. If you clowns would simply sign a bill to allow development of those resources, that sucking sound you'd hear would be the spot price of oil falling back to about half its current price. DRILL NOW!
Why even talk anout oil from shale while there are tens of billions of barrels of oil domestically that are merely set off limits for oil exploration by the U.S. Congress?
The high price of oil and gasoline is not the problem, it’s a symptom.
The socialists want the oil industry to fail so the federal government will then be able to ceize control of all oil compamies in the name of national security. It’s a set up.
We should not even be speaking of “shale oil”, we should instead be thinking of ways of kicking the liberal, socialists Democrats and the “environmentalists” to the curb.
There lies the problem. No matter how environmentally conscience the companies are in extracting the product, it won't be good enough for the eco-terrorist and activist judges.
This video is of the fella who accidentally stumbled upon a way to release hydrogen from salt water.....and ignite it.
University researchers have repeated these experiments time and time again.....to their amazement.
I'm no chemist, but it appears that the low powered freq agitates the hydrogen molecules to a point where they are released using salt as a catalyst.
The hydrogen burns clean and HOT. Saltwater is limitless!!!!
It's all about money folks, the producers and energy companies make too much money on oil.
Coal, natural gas, shale oil, wind, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, hydro, bio-fuel.
Energy crisis? There's no energy crisis, this is yet one more scheme to separate YOU, from your money.
What’s stoppoing YOU from producing your engine that runs on hydrogen extracted from sea water?
The lack of record billions in profit realized from shamming Joe six pack from the sale of energy.
Extracting oil from shale is a very expensive process. Would you invest Billions of dollars in a business that has a good chance of being nationalized in less than a year? We are overrun with socialists.
Shell has invested a lot of money in shale but they are being blocked by Washington.
Welcome to the free market. This is due to one thing and one thing only and that’s a energy policy hostile to oil for the last 30 years.
I agree wholeheartedly, but where I differ a bit, I feel the energy producers have in fact capitalized on this market speculation with little loyalty to America and her economic health and security.
It is ALL our responsibility to guard the security of this nation. We all share in the blame game. Consumers should do their part as well, however congress has allowed the liberal enviro nuts to run energy policy, but on the same token, corporate America has turned a blind eye as well just so the dollars will just keep on flowin.
shammimg? Do you not know why oil and gas prices are so high? U.S. domestic oil production has fallen 40% since 1985, at the same time domestic oil consumption has risen 30%. Get it? There’s no sham, supply is being restricted.
How does a industry with companies that have a typical profit margin of only 9% to 10% recording billions of dollares in profit because the are huge companies hamper you from producing your hydrogen from seawater engine.
You forget that nearly all of the richest oil shale like Green River reside on Government land.
Estonia, one of the few other countries with significant oil shale deposits has used oil shale to produce most of their petroleum for over a decade. They are now building a power plant in Jordan that runs on oil shale.
Jordan's first oil shale power plant expected in 7 years
Read this article: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2028280/posts
The majority of the price rise is due to speculation combined with a falling dollar and surge in demand from countries like China and India, who subsidize their oil.
If anything the rise has spurred exploration by oil companies, problem is they do it overseas because they can’t do it here in most places, though apparently they are being successful in the Bakken field in the upper plains states.