Salazar Cuts Back Plan To Develop Oil Shale on US Land in Rockies

"Federal authorities are planning to scale back a Bush-era push to open 2 million acres of public lands in the Rocky Mountain region for commercial oil-shale development — with support from Colorado agricultural, municipal and recreation industry leaders."

"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Bureau of Land Management today will unveil a plan that favors continued research and development of oil-shale technology and no commercial leasing of 461,965 acres — 252,181 acres in Utah, 174,476 in Wyoming and 35,308 in Colorado.

Huge U.S. oil-shale reserves are concentrated in this region, but coaxing crude oil from shale rock is a trick, requiring the underground deposits to be heated to 750 degrees or higher to free kerogen, a waxy substance that melts into a liquid precursor to oil. For a century, developers have failed to produce commercial quantities. Shell Oil and others currently are testing "in-situ" methods of heating rock and then extracting kerogen."

Bruce Finley reports for the Denver Post February 3, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"US Proposes Scaling Back Onshore Leasing for Oil Shale, Oil Sands" (Platts)

"Obama Proposes Rollback of Shale Plans For Rocky Mountain West " (Greenwire)

Monday, February 6, 2012