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.


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

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

Source: Denver Post, 02/06/2012