Energy policy — oil shale: Ecoshale surface mining test said to be successful

A picture named ecoshaleincapsuleprocess.jpg

From the Vernal Express (Mary Bernard):

On Wednesday, Dr. Laura Nelson, vice president of Ecoshale, said the company’s pilot project has produced a high quality oil-shale product. And, “we did so working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to make an environmentally sensitive product.” Nelson was briefing the Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining at the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College in the success of Ecoshale’s feasibility test. Ecoshale’s synthetic product has properties rated by the American Petroleum Institute (API) as 39 condensate oil and between 34 and 35 prompt oil with no fines, or impurities, in the oil. Based on the test study, Nelson projects full-production at 30,000 barrels a day would cost $20.21 per barrel, not including transportation…

“Ecoshale has access to the largest block of surface mine-able resource in region,” says Nelson. “The resource is called kerogen an organic matter with petroleum-like qualities which is heated in above ground capsules to extract oil from the shale.” The shale is mined, crushed and placed into a nearby bentonite-line earthen capsule where the oil product are extracted. It’s a slow heating process that produces a high quality product. The capsule and related structures occupy about five acres. The entire process has been patented by Ecoshale. “Our process has a small footprint, low carbon emissions, uses no water and employs a rapid reclamation of the landscape,” Nelson says. “Additionally, the bentonite lining protects against contact with surface or ground water sources throughout the process.”

More oil shale coverage here.

Leave a Reply