reply to post by Southern Guardian
I am trying to get a better understanding of this process, including costs, environmental impact, social issues, etc.
Oil Shale Mining and Processing
Oil shale can be mined using one of two methods: underground mining using the room-and-pillar method or surface mining. After mining, the oil shale is
transported to a facility for retorting, a heating process that separates the oil fractions of oil shale from the mineral fraction.. The vessel in
which retorting takes place is known as a retort. After retorting, the oil must be upgraded by further processing before it can be sent to a refinery,
and the spent shale must be disposed of. Spent shale may be disposed of in surface impoundments, or as fill in graded areas; it may also be disposed
of in previously mined areas. Eventually, the mined land is reclaimed. Both mining and processing of oil shale involve a variety of environmental
impacts, such as global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, disturbance of mined land, disposal of spent shale, use of water resources, and impacts
on air and water quality. The development of a commercial oil shale industry in the United States would also have significant social and economic
impacts on local communities. Other impediments to development of the oil shale industry in the United States include the relatively high cost of
producing oil from oil shale (currently greater than $60 per barrel), and the lack of regulations to lease oil shale.
Guess some new regulations will have to be drawn up before distributing. What do they mean by "leasing" oil shale? I am curious about how this will
affect local communities. Jobs? Pollution? Water issues?
Both mining and processing of oil shale involve a variety of environmental impacts, such as global warming and greenhouse gas emissions,
disturbance of mined land; impacts on wildlife and air and water quality. The development of a commercial oil shale industry in the U.S. would also
have significant social and economic impacts on local communities. Of special concern in the relatively arid western United States is the large amount
of water required for oil shale processing; currently, oil shale extraction and processing require several barrels of water for each barrel of oil
produced, though some of the water can be recycled.
So the process could take 7 trillion barrels of water, some of which could be recycled. That is 350 trillion gallons right? The US uses about 4
trillion gallons per month
. So where will this water come from and
what will happen to the waste that is unable to be recycled?
It sounds like a lot of money would be involved setting up a new specialized refinery, extracting, storing and distributing. Have any major companies
put forth bids or proposals yet ?
Or is this potentially too
costly to become reality?
has proposed going ahead with the development.
BLM is beginning the process
Updating the Oil Shale Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)
Development of Research Demonstration and Development (RD&D) Leases
Development of regulations that reflect current information and fair royalty rates.
Here are the guidelines for an environmental impact statement. source
how long these things take to move through the "officializing" process?
We should be hearing more of this, unless it is deemed too complex or not profitable enough. Today is the first I have heard of it. If we haven't
built any new refineries since the 70's and now with closing refineries
, I bet the
costs of producing this new energy source is tremendous. New plant and employees, electrical consumption, land leasing, water management,
distribution...whew, a beast to tackle for sure.
Thanks for the thread on this SG.
edit on 17-3-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)