Skip to comments.In the American west: An ocean of oil
Posted on 05/13/2012 7:36:35 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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 Formationan assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyomingcontains the worlds largest deposits of oil shale,Anu K. Mittal, the GAOs 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 worlds 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. Theyre 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 its only the beginning. And while I feel some trepidation in saying it, Im afraid the ball is in Barack Obamas court.
And of course it has DIRTY OIL.
The instant, that the progressive tools can take control of energy production, they will be pumpin’ oil like nobody’s business.
Again, Obama is caught lying to the public when he said, "we use a quarter of the world's oil, but only have 2% of the world's oil reserves".
A lot of ill informed if well meaning souls are screaming that fracking causes water pollution.
Fortunately it would seem rather easy to put that worry to rest. Tag the fracking liquid with short lived radioactive tracers, like the same kind of radioiodine used in medical procedures. Or some harmless chemical substance not found in nature. Then get samples of the water table water to check for the tracers’ presence. This doesn’t have to be done to every single well, just a randomized statistical sample of them. It ought to prove to be a definite non problem, with no water getting contaminated at all.
We have an insane government that is self serving to its very core both one and all and I fear things are going to go from bad to worst. The country is looking more and more like Germany in 1935 and if something isn’t done the citizens of this Republic are going to pay a terrible price.
My terrible price came the day he was elected. No lie, that’s the week they laid us off at my ten-yr job.
unemp since, but going to school full-time on a pell grant, work part-time whenever I can find something.
Not used to being poor. But have always been conservative.
Not sure this is all what it is touted to be. I dont think fracking can get to this oil as it is locked into the rock in a semicoal like state. It will have to be extracted like the tar sands in Canada by cooking it out of the rock using huge amts of water and energy.
Much of it is on private land. If it was economically viable why hasnt it been done yet?
It doesn’t matter to the liberals what reserves we have.
We have to stop the rising of the oceans, and allow the planet to heal. As Obama might say..................
We have to use wind and solar and ocean waves and bio fuels and geo thermal. Anything but evil nuclear and evil fossil fuels.
Remember, the liberal view is that fossil fuels are evil. And, Obama is on record as saying Republicans want dirty air and dirty water.
And I thought the only way to get the oil was to cook it.
Q: How does One Know when Obama is LYING.
A: HIS LIPS ARE MOVING !!!
“We knew about the Oil Shale...how to get it is the issue....”
Exactly this. At the present time, getting at the oil would mean strip mining most of the western half of Wyoming, as well as large sections of Colorado and Utah. I don’t think the public at large will go for that, let alone the populations of those states, no matter how many jobs it brings. And processing the shale to produce oil would take tremendous amounts of water in the already arid west. We make fun of the enviros on FR, but they have a point when it comes to Shale.
Technology will eventually exist that allows us to get to this oil. It doesn’t yet.
Oil shale isn't oil sand, as in Canada, or the type of oil that can be recovered by fracking. It requires a heating process called retorting that takes several years for oil in a designated spot to be released from the rock in a form that can be recovered. It's electricity-intensive and the Greenies will have a field day opposing it. Unless we elect an administration that will kill off the EPA or at least get rid of the zealots that run it, shale oil is just a dream.
Technology will eventually exist that allows us to get to this oil. It doesnt yet.
Apparently, that technology already exists.
As I recall, the current technology involves drilling 2,000 ft into the strata, heating the shale and "sweating" the kerogen out of it, then pumping the kerogen out. No need to "strip mine" the western half of Wyoming.
Which is, by the way, a pretty bleak area (speaking as one who once spent a summer in Wamsutter).
Soon to be a new national park while the only other large deposit is owned by the presidents main campaign contributor.
(or was that clinton?-lol)
Correct! They hate our military until it becomes their military. They hate our natural resources until it becomes theirs. They care emensely about the poor until they take power. Then they will happily murder millions of us to eliminate any possible opposition to them.
“Bleak” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because it’s not lush green as those areas east of the Missouri River, the vast vistas are beautiful in their own right.
By the way, the amount of water needed to get the shale oil out doesn’t readily exist unless you want to ship in really big chunks of Arctic ice!
Being from Oklahoma -- the home of miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles -- I quite agree.
But, I suspect, most would consider Western Wyoming "bleak".
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