Skip to comments.Things you didn't know about OIL SHALE
Posted on 07/24/2008 7:00:09 AM PDT by rface
Colorado, Wyoming and Utah have more oil in oil shale than OPEC. Everyone seems to know that by now, but here are six things you probably did not know about oil shale.
1) Did you know oil shale has a smaller carbon footprint than ethanol? When calculating the carbon emissions of the entire oil shale process, without the use of carbon capture technology, its total carbon footprint is about 7 percent larger than gasoline. But a peer-reviewed article in the February issue of Science calculates the entire carbon footprint of ethanol to be 93 percent larger than gasoline. The article reports that even switchgrass footprint is 50 percent larger than gasoline.
2) Did you know oil shale uses less water than ethanol and no more than gasoline? Increased ethanol production will require more irrigation. A September 2007 article in Southwest Hydrology states that irrigated corn requires more than 780 barrels of water for each barrel of ethanol. The Department of Energy reports that oil shale, for the entire process including land restoration, requires three barrels of water for every barrel of shale oil, about the same as gasoline.
3) Did you know oil shale uses much less land than either ethanol or gasoline? One acre of corn produces 10 barrels of ethanol. One acre in the oil patch produces about 10,000 barrels of oil. One acre of oil shale produces between 100,000 and one million-plus barrels of shale oil! No, that's not a typo.
Whether your concern is carbon emissions, water use or wildlife habitat, oil shale is a better answer than ethanol. And when it comes to transportation fuels, ethanol is the only alternative of any real significance.
4) Did you know oil shale has been commercially produced in Brazil for 30 years and in Estonia for 80 years? Technology is not a barrier.
5) Did you know that oil shale failed in 1982 due to the price dropping to $10 a barrel, not because of technology or scarcity of water? That was a quarter century ago, and a lot has changed since then. Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1982 was the Computer. Today, we have better technology, better environmental regulations and OPEC can no longer flood the oil market.
6) Did you know current law gives each governor, before any commercial leases are granted, the right to set the pace of oil shale development? But Rep. Mark Udall has put a moratorium on commercial leasing regulations, effectively taking away that right for Utah's governor. The action produces no additional rights for Colorado, but destroys Utah's right to move forward at any pace.
I've supported Colorado's right to choose its own pace. Utah deserves the same courtesy.
Democrats control Congress, so Americans ought to be asking about their plan to lower gas prices. Let's hope their plan doesn't rest on solar, wind and geothermal, because planes, trains and automobiles don't run on electricity; they run on oil - mostly foreign oil. Or at least 97 percent of the time they run on oil, and the other 3 percent is mostly ethanol. Let's also hope the Democrats" plan doesn't rest on ethanol to break our dependence on foreign oil, because it can't. More on that later.
Americans ship about $700 billion annually to foreign oil traffickers, and Democrats respond by shutting down America's own energy supplies. Now at the mercy of foreign governments smart enough to produce their own energy, we are selling away our nation's place in the world and funding the rise of our most aggressive competitors and even our enemies.
A few oil shale refineries would send the OPEC mafia scrambling to reduce prices.
does the oil have to be extracted or can the rock also be burned like coal?
When are some prominent Republicans going to stand up and say WHY the Democrats are blocking oil production? It is not enough just to say they are.
Oh, I forgot, Republicans don’t have the stones to publicly call Democrats socialists. They might be called mean spirited.....instead of just stoopid.
Not that means they are open to agenda driven propaganda but, in fact, they are.
Science is not all that good a reference unless you have some other article of comparable nature available in a different peer reviewed journal.
End of story.
To use it for transportation fuel, we need to extract the liquid petroleum.
Just what Alaska has faced for decades.
what about electric power plants?
One of many great ideas.
Last week at a local political event one speaker asked the audience: How many nuclear power plants had been built in America over the last 30 years? Many answered 0, 1, 2, etc. He stated over two hundred and then talked about how our navel fleet has been built around nuke power and that should tell us it is safe and reliable and that we need to move forward with nuclear generation facilities. I agree
For comparision, but note this is several years old. Petroleum has risen even more compared to the others.
The oil is cooked out of the rock with heat. In one method above ground, in the other below ground, in the first there is a lot of rock to dispose of, while in the second this is, of course, not a issue. So no the rock is not like coal.
this is from wikipedia (so it may be true)
Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock, containing significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds), from which liquid hydrocarbons can be manufactured. The name oil shale is something of a misnomer as the rock is not necessarily a shale and the hydrocarbon in it is not truly oil. Deposits of oil shale are located around the world, including major deposits in the United States. Global deposits are estimated as equivalent to 2.93.3 trillion (2.93.3 x 1012) barrels of recoverable oil.
The kerogen in oil shale can be converted to synthetic crude oil through the chemical process of pyrolysis. When heated to a sufficiently high temperature a vapor is driven off which can be distilled (retorted) to yield a petroleum-like shale oila form of non-conventional oiland combustible shale gas (shale gas can also refer to gas occurring naturally in shales). Oil shale can also be burnt directly as a low-grade fuel for power generation and heating purposes, and be used as a raw material in the chemical and construction materials industries.
it also says 90% of elctricity in Estonia is produced by burning oil shale
We really need to get over this silly carbon footprint thing. Let's call it the "Plant Food Quotient".
Nuclear for electricity as the exclusive energy source for electricity . That fees up oil shale, coal to oil , natural gas etc for cars.
Coal for coal to oil liquefaction.
Oil Shale only for petroleum.
Natural gas for cars.