Thursday, June 22, 2006

Department of Interior Oil Shale Study

The Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has selected 6 applicants to participate in an oil shale research development and demonstration project (RD&D):
  1. Chevron Shale Oil Co
  2. EGL Resources, INc
  3. ExxonMobil Corp
  4. Oil-Tech, Inc
  5. Oil Shale Exploration LLC
  6. Shell Frontier Oil & Gas
The leases for the RD&D project are for 160 acres per project on public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. There are additional contiguous area options of 4,960 acres to be reserved for a preferential right to convert to a commercial lease after additional BLM review. All conversion processes involve heating the rock to produce oil. A regular environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared for the RD&D program and a programmatic EIS is being prepared to support development of commercial oil shale and tar sands leasing on public lands.

The U.S. holds an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale deposited over an area of 16,000 square miles. This is enough oil to meet U.S. demand for 110 years at current our current level of use (20 million barrels every day). More than 70% of American oil shale is on federal land. The BLM manages more land than any other federal agency - - 261 million surface acres and 700 million sub-surface acres of mineral estate. Source: DOI/BLM

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