Liquid Fuels From Oil Shale - A Critical Review
- A.C. Rubel (Union Oil Co. of California)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1954
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 9 - 19
- 1954. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 5.7 Reserves Evaluation, 4.9 Facilities Operations, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.3.4 Scale
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Shale deposits of northwestern Colorado contain more than 100 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil from which, by processes now developed, high quality liquid fuels, gas, sulfur, ammonia, and petrochemical products may be produced.
Experience during the past two years indicates that in the immediate future we face an increasing dependence upon crude supplies outside of the United States.
Studies conducted by the National Petroleum Council indicate that a considerable proportion of this shale oil may be recovered and processed into products equal to those from natural crudes on the Pacific Coast at a cost closely approaching current prices from natural crude.
It would therefore seem to be in the public interest for the petroleum industry and the Defense Department to thoroughly explore the possibilities of developing this great resource as a supplement to our domestic crude supply.
Immediate industry study on an expanded pilot plant scale is suggested.
Probably the greatest concentration of potential energy to be found any place in the world lies in the oil shale deposits of the Green River Formation in northwestern Colorado. Those deposits are capable of producing billions of barrels of high quality liquid fuels, as well as large quantities of ammonia, sulfur, coke and fuel gas.
There is a definite need to provide a larger available and dependable reserve of liquid fuel within our own territorial limits to augment our domestic production and, in case of war, enable us to be independent of imports if they are denied us by enemy action.
It would therefore seem to be prudent and sensible for both the oil industry and the Defense Department to take a very careful look at this vast resource.
The history of oil from shale is old. Liquid fuels from this source have been produced in Europe, particularly Scotland, for over a century. Because of the high cost of production, it has attracted little attention in the United States, although immediately following World War I rapidly declining reserves directed the attention if the U. S. Bureau of Mines and several companies to oil shale as a potential source of liquid fuels.
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