Oil Shale

Oil shale, also known as kerogen shale, is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil (not to be confused with tight oil—crude oil occurring naturally in shales) can be produced. Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil; however, extracting shale oil from oil shale is more costly than the production of conventional crude oil both financially and in terms of its environmental impact. Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States of America. Estimates of global deposits range from 2.8 to 3.3 trillion barrels (450×10^9 to 520×10^9 m3) of recoverable oil.

Heating oil shale to a sufficiently high temperature causes the chemical process of pyrolysis to yield a vapor. Upon cooling the vapor, the liquid shale oil—an unconventional oil—is separated from combustible oil-shale gas (the term shale gas can also refer to gas occurring naturally in shales). Oil shale can also be burnt directly in furnaces as a low-grade fuel for power generation and district heating or used as a raw material in chemical and construction-materials processing.

Oil shale gains attention as a potential abundant source of oil whenever the price of crude oil rises. At the same time, oil-shale mining and processing raise a number of environmental concerns, such as land use, waste disposal, water use, waste-water management, greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution. Estonia and China have well-established oil shale industries, and Brazil, Germany, Russia also utilize oil shale.

Oil shales differ from oil-bearing shales, shale deposits which contain petroleum (tight oil) that is sometimes produced from drilled wells. Examples of oil-bearing shales are the Bakken Formation, Pierre Shale, Niobrara Formation, and Eagle Ford Formation.

Read more about Oil Shale:  Geology, Reserves, History, Industry, Extraction and Processing, Applications and Products, Economics, Environmental Considerations, Extraterrestrial Oil Shale

Other articles related to "oil shale, shale, oil":

Extraterrestrial Oil Shale
... amounts of an organic material almost identical to high grade oil shale," the equivalent of cubic kilometers of such mixed with other material for instance, corresponding hydrocarbons were ...
... gray to brownish black lacustrine-type oil shale, in which the chief organic constituent is lamalginite derived from lacustrine planktonic algae ... deposits are the most abundant and largest oil shale deposits beside of marinite deposits ... The largest lacustrine-type oil shale deposits are the Green River Formation in western United States, a number deposits in eastern Queensland ...
Mountain West Energy - Technology
... an experimental technology for in-situ shale oil extraction called In-Situ Vapor Extraction ... claims its technology would also be suitable for enhanced oil recovery and for extraction of heavy crude oil and oil sands ... For conversion of the kerogen in oil shale into shale oil, the company proposes using a high temperature gas, injected through an injection well ...
Colony Shale Oil Project - Technical Description
... pilot stage of the project consisted of underground room-and-pillar type oil shale mine and aboveground shale oil pilot plant with input capacity of 1,000 ton of oil shale per day which used ... six TOSCO II retorts with total input capacity of 66,000 ton of oil shale per day ... The proposed plant was to produce about 46,000 bbl (7,300 m3) of shale oil per day ...
Laguna Resources - History - Oil Shale Activities
... the main activity of the company was an oil shale exploration and shale oil extraction ... Minerals NL (CPM) formed a joint venture with Esso Australia to develop the Rundle oil shale deposit in Queensland ... with the Canadian company Suncor Energy to develop the Stuart oil shale deposit ...

Famous quotes containing the word oil:

    Is a park any better than a coal mine? What’s a mountain got that a slag pile hasn’t? What would you rather have in your garden—an almond tree or an oil well?
    Jean Giraudoux (1882–1944)