On Thursday, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress that a large, vacant area of federal land “contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined.” The GAO testimony continued, stating that the feds were in “a unique position to influence the development of oil shale” since it is primarily under federal land.
Read the rest of the article here.
2 Responses to BOMBSHELL GAO REPORT: Recoverable Oil in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming ‘About Equal to Entire World’s Proven Oil Reserves’
Yeah, the amount of reserves in oil shale under the Green River Formation has been known for a while. The problem is that it’s oil shale, so it’s not as easy to extract or as economically viable to refine as liquid crude.
Oil shales can have a much higher sulfur content than WTI. WTI typically has a maximum sulfur content of 0.49% (meaning it’s sweet), while the green river oil shales average 0.76%, but ranging from 0% to 4.9% (meaning the shale can get real sour).
The higher the sulfer content of the oil, the more expensive it is to refine to gasoline.
At least middle-distillate fuels like kerosene, jet fuel and diesel fuels are more cost effective to refine from oil shales.
For more background, here’s a decent report prepared for the US Congress back in Nov. 2008 on the topic: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34748.pdf