Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oil majors estimate shale extraction cost at $30 a barrel

The linked Bloomberg story describes how "Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined. That's not science fiction. Trapped in limestone up to 200 feet (61 meters) thick in the two Rocky Mountain states is enough so-called shale oil to rival OPEC and supply the U.S. for a century.... U.S. oil shale deposits likely hold 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, according to Jack Dyni, a geologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. All 12 OPEC countries combined have proved crude oil reserves of about 911 billion barrels, led by Saudi Arabia, with 264.2 billion barrels, according to statistics compiled by BP Plc."

The story elaborates that "Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the two biggest U.S. energy companies, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are spending $100 million a year testing new methods to separate the oil from the stone for as little as $30 a barrel."

The lead time for getting the new extraction technologies operating at production levels is up to 11 years, so this won't be a quick fix....

1 comment:

Robert said...

Cool process too.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/article/0,1299,DRMN_86_4051709,00.html