Today, the biggest challenge faces energy sector is to meet rising demand for energy, and depletion of crude oil resources. So, great efforts should be devoted to develop alternative energy resources such as: oil shale. Oil shale is a rock that contains kerogen (an organic matter) that breaks down when heated to yield combustible liquids, gases, and solids. Two Processes are used for producing shale oil: mining followed by surface retorting, and in-situ retorting.
Many studies were conducted on oil shale development in USA and Europe. However, few of them were made on these resources in Middle East. Aims of this study: (1) to measure the best operating condition of Quseir oil shale for surface retorts; (2) to determine the strategic significance of oil shale development in Egypt (economic profit, employment benefits, and socio-ecnomic impacts); and (3) to solve critical issues that can threaten establishment of oil shale projects in Egypt.
I made three groups of experiments to compute the best operating condition for Quseir oil shale: I put oil shale samples in burning furace, and computed loss in weight percent with respect to temperature. Then I put another samples in retort device, and calculated oil produced & API with respect to retorting temperatures. Finally, I measured the best retorting time.
I found that: First, the best operating condition of Quseir oil shale for surface retorts is between 460 - 490 °C for 45 minutes. Second, If Egypt uses in-situ retorting technique for oil shale development in Gabal Duwi, this project: (1) will make an annual profit = 4.8 $billion and total profit = 180 $billion after twenty years, (2) will provide nearly 100,000 jobs, and (3) will stimulate people to settle around Red Sea Region. Third, Egypt can use solar hybrid station for power generation of oil shale projects to reduce emissions of carbondioxide, and desalinate sea water.
Oil shale development in Egypt will drive its economy, and supplement production of crude oil which provides valuable export credits. Using renewable energy resources in power generation will promote the economical and environmentally utilization of oil shale resources in Egypt.