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http://ww2.scripps.com/cgi-bin/archives/denver.pl?DBLIST=rm05&DOCNUM=20000

Profitable at $30 a barrel. 3.5 to 1 recovery to energy input ratio.

Drill shafts into the oil-bearing rock. Drop heaters down the shaft. Cook the rock until the hydrocarbons boil off, the lightest and most desirable first. Collect them.

Please note, you don't have to go looking for oil fields when you're brewing your own.

On one small test plot about 20 feet by 35 feet, on land Shell owns, they started heating the rock in early 2004. "Product" - about one-third natural gas, two-thirds light crude - began to appear in September 2004. They turned the heaters off about a month ago, after harvesting about 1,500 barrels of oil.


And they've solved the environmental problem: build an ice wall around the hole (or a honeycomb of them for multiple holes). What's more? No popcorn problem.

Most of the best territory for this astonishing process is on land under the control of the Bureau of Land Management. Shell has applied for a research and development lease on 160 acres of BLM land, which could be approved by February. That project would be on a large enough scale so design of a commercial facility could begin.

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This is addressed not towards the specific poster but
towards the "conventioal wisdom" in the US and elsewhere..

3.5 to 1 recovery to energy input ratio.

3.5 to 1 energy profit ratio? Why even solar has
a higher energy profit ratio, and wind is stratospheric
by comparison at 15 to 1. Yet we ard told wind and solar
energy profits aren't quite high enough one minute,
then told of the "promise" of shale the next minute.

Why doesn't the nation take more interest
in solar? Because Exxon doesn't own the sun
(nor Shell owns the wind) and decentralized power
(figuratively and literally) isn't as sexy
as centralized power they own and control and
make money from...
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....Shell Solar and the PV market
Shell Solar belongs to the top 5 of solar PV players. Shell Solar has supplied solar cells and modules with a capacity of over 425 megawatts.

Shell is convinced that solar energy will play a significant role in the future energy mix, as the demand for clean energy will grow. Shell Solar is part of Shell Renewables, one of the five core businesses of The Shell Group. .....


I think they are well aware of the fact that their future depends on their will to spread and change business over the long term. That or one day they will not be part of the Big Players any longer!

And with every day the gas prices raise (about $6.39 per gallon super here) the PV sector (and other renewable) is getting more profitable.

Heinz
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Profitable at $30 a barrel. 3.5 to 1 recovery to energy input ratio.

I sincerely doubt it.

This is clearly a PR release by Shell. I am skeptical about all of it.

On one small test plot about 20 feet by 35 feet, on land Shell owns, they started heating the rock in early 2004. "Product" - about one-third natural gas, two-thirds light crude - began to appear in September 2004. They turned the heaters off about a month ago, after harvesting about 1,500 barrels of oil.

"20 feet by 35 feet..." Is that the size of the shaft? Certainly they obliterated 10 times that much land just getting the trucks in to install the equipment and haul it out. Let's see, they began in early 2004 and ended a month ago - an 18 month project that produced 1500 barrels and it's profitable at $30/barrel??? Gross proceeds would be $105K at $70/barrel - Shell pays one guy to sit and twiddle his thumbs more than $105K in 18 months. And where do they drill (dig?) the next "shaft"? 20 feet away...OR is this test shaft a miniature of a 20 X 30 km "shaft" ie. "PIT" that would supposedly produce oil profitable at $30/barrel? I would like to see some scientific evidence of any of this. I'm sure it doesn't exist. I don't believe any of it. And they should be totally concentrating on solar and wind.

The future in not to let some multinational conglomerate keep us sucking on their hind tit, the future is for each of us to become energy independent. We've had the basic technology to do so for over 50 years - people like Shell have prevented it from happening and they will continue to try to do so.
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Pituophis,
the 20x35 ft is not a shaft; it is an area within which a number of holes have been drilled. Into some of those holes heaters have been lowered and the other holes are production wells. I dont know the number or ratio of heating vs production holes. Because the Shell exercise was an experiment, I'd also bet they drilled monitoring wells as well.

I think your use of "obliterated" is hyperbolic. You could also argue that the feds "obliterated" a lot of land in paving the roads into and within Bryce, Zion, Capital Reef..... The ratio of land altered in order to gain access would decrease in proportion to the developed land if the operation were to go commercial. It was an experiment so your concern on that front is also a bit exagerated.

I'm also sure that Shell didnt pay anyone to sit around and 'twiddle his thumbs'. I'd be surprised if a human was on-site more than once/wk and I'd bet the time on-site for each visit was on the order of minutes to few hours.

there's a nice blurb on shale oil at:
http://www.worldoil.com/Magazine/MAGAZINE_DETAIL.asp?ART_ID=2659

which includes:
The ICP process is energy intensive, as it requires injection of heat into the subsurface. However, for each unit of energy used to generate power to provide heat for the process, about 3.5 units of energy are produced and treated for sales. Electricity is a problem in several ways. One is getting it cheaply. Another is putting it in the ground. The electrodes must be able to take the punishment of high-amperage current for years, or else a costly maintenance program ensues. And cooking hydrocarbons, regardless of where, can cause a lot of carbon buildup. In situ buildup would likely be near or on the wellbore, possibly impeding heat flow.

It's clear that the engineering involved in producing shale oil is substantial and complicated - thus the reason why it's not currently utilized. However, the resource is substantial. At 1 billion barrels/sq mile the US is sitting on the equivalent of several 'elephant' oil fields. And before you get exercised about the electrical energy required it's quite likely that this would provide an opportunity for symbiotic uses of different energy sources, e.g. wind or solar to provide energy for the heaters.

Charlie
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I think your use of "obliterated" is hyperbolic.

I disagree. As a natural area, it is indeed obliterated.

You could also argue that the feds "obliterated" a lot of land in paving the roads into and within Bryce, Zion, Capital Reef.....

Yes, you could argue that but it would be a specious and irrelevent argument.

The ratio of land altered in order to gain access would decrease in proportion to the developed land if the operation were to go commercial. It was an experiment so your concern on that front is also a bit exagerated.

While true, again completely specious and therefore total BS. As the actual amount of land used to drill holes which will indeed, and I think no one could argue, completely OBLITERATE the land for all natural purposes, the ratio of land used for roads, etc, gets smaller - SO WHAT? I was just pointing out that the article was completely misleading BS, and you offered no real argument to dispute that.

I'm also sure that Shell didnt pay anyone to sit around and 'twiddle his thumbs'.

I didn't say that they did. That was an example, as in metaphor which apparently escaped you. The point is that the experiment on its face, based on the reported information, no where near supports the idea that this process is profitable at $30/barrel.

I'd be surprised if a human was on-site more than once/wk and I'd bet the time on-site for each visit was on the order of minutes to few hours.

Talk about exageration - I'd be surprised if a fewer than 10 people were assigned to this experiment as their sole job. And I'd be very surprised if the infrastructure and equipment and PR expense was not in the 10s of millions of $$$ at least. I'd also be surprised if it was not largely taxpayer subsidized.

However, the resource is substantial. At 1 billion barrels/sq mile the US is sitting on the equivalent of several 'elephant' oil fields.

I am well aware of the estimates of oil available from oil rock in these fields. I am also well aware that obtaining this oil will be an absolute environmental disaster, and that is no exageration. I do not support destroying (and THAT is also no exageration) public land in this way. (I know they used Shell owned land for the experiment but the article spoke of leasing land from the BLM.)

However, given Big Oil's powerful lobbies, I fully expect that governments will continue to foolishly subsidize this activity and tar sand activity and extraction of oil from coal and that significant portions of the upper midwest and the province of Alberta and other places will be eventually be converted to toxic wastelands so that oil company executives can remain billionaires while the great unwashed masses will STILL eventually pay $10/gallon of reg unleaded.

The POINT is that OIL IS NOT the future. Oil is the past. As I said, which you ignored, if we focused our "energies" toward making each person energy independent via a combination of solar, wind, and fuel cell technology, we could do that. Your comment that solar and wind power could be used in oil from shale extraction misses the point to an unbelievable degree. BUT making solar panels and wind generators and fuel cells affordable for residential application would kill the profits of Big Oil, so we are instead subsidizing the rape of the earth for the last few drops of the stuff, whatever the costs to future generations.

Where I spent much of my childhood, near the old oil fields of East Texas, many of the creeks still flow water that is too saline to support fish, a result of the forcing brine into oil wells 75 years ago One of the creeks forms part of Lake Striker which makes the lake too saline to support a normal level of fish. Oil shale and oil tar extraction is many times more destructive than that. I'm sure we haven't been told anywhere near the whole story. Again, the article is complete BS.
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oops, I accidently rec'd your post <ggg>....
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you wouldnt be an enviro whacko would you?

they tend to get religious and when somebody disagrees or pts out flaws in their arguments they claim the counter is 'specious' or BS but when they go hyperbolic it's metaphor.

as for English:
1. obliterate:
a. To do away with completely so as to leave no trace. See Synonyms at abolish.
b. To wipe out, rub off, or erase (writing or other markings).

none of these has happened or will happen.

hope you have fun with your Barny Rubble mobile. maybe it'll go faster with a sail.
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Charlie,

You clearly had NOTHING to support your argument so you turn to ad hominem attacks.

I have an in-kind reply for that garbage but I've already been suspended once this month, so I'll let you use your imagination and decide for yourself in which orifice to place your childlike reply.... <gggg>
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Pituophis,

you posted a note implying that Shell was 'obliterating' land and you seemed to indicate that your understanding of the extraction process involved digging a shaft since you mentioned shaft several times. You also posed a highly conjectural statement upon which you've apparently based your entire 'obliteration' premise.

quote 1:
"20 feet by 35 feet..." Is that the size of the shaft? Certainly they obliterated 10 times that much land just getting the trucks in to install the equipment and haul it out."

quote 2
"... Shell pays one guy to sit and twiddle his thumbs more than $105K in 18 months"

I posted a note pointing out that no shafts were involved and that other of your assumptions were probably bad or exaggerated. A 2000 ft well (not shaft) requires very little land, very little extracted rock, and the equipment needed is temporary. The wells they drilled on that plot were probably accomplished with one portable rig and a second crew to do casing in less than 1 week. All very quick and easy and doesnt permanently scar large areas (even if we were talking about production vs experiment). I'll stand by my assertion regarding people on-site. Thousands of oil wells in the US go for weeks if not months without a person visiting the well. I doubt that the same is not true for the shale-oil wells. Since the case you cited is an experiment it undoubtedly has received more on-site human attention but I'm certain that attention is not constant (which you clearly implied). Most of the humans affiliated with the experiment could easily live and work in the thriving metropolis of Grand Junction and probably have never seen the site.

quote 3
"OR is this test shaft a miniature of a 20 X 30 km "shaft" ie. "PIT""

the latter quote is clearly hyperbolic. You even bolded the PIT.

quote 4
"The future in [sic] not to let some multinational conglomerate keep us sucking on their hind tit, the future is for each of us to become energy independent. We've had the basic technology to do so for over 50 years - people like Shell have prevented it from happening<b/b> and they will continue to try to do so. "

ooooh. now the conspiracy theories come out.

If you were even slightly agnostic, less beligerant, less antagonistic, less defensive, and didnt sound like you attended the Joseph Goebbels school of journalism (I like to taunt you with your own medicine) more reasoning people might actually listen to you . I'm all for solar, wind, geothermal, etc but in order to replace petroleum as a fuel somebodies will have to find a way to use those energy sources to power vehicles since ~90% of the petroleum produced in this world DOES go to powering vehicles. Batteries just dont make the cut.

BTW when your response to a polite and objective argument and article is that it is BS etc then you invite attack. I'm extremely confident that my arsenal of knowledge far outweighs yours. I can easily see why you are on MF probation.
CSO
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If you were even slightly agnostic, less beligerant, less antagonistic, less defensive, and didnt sound like you attended the Joseph Goebbels school of journalism...

LOL. I know you are but what am I?.... <ggg>... Is that the level at which your "arsenal of knowledge" has prepared you to debate? This is getting silly. "Arsenal of knowledge" - LOL again! More like a cesspool of dogma, I'd say. I see that you have a Ph.D. You're really smart huh? I have mentored a number of Ph.D.'s in my profession - it's incredible how little some of them learn about the real world. I have a feeling that I'm much older than you - I was teaching Ecology at a University up until 20 years when I went into the private sector.Impress me with your so-called "arsenal of knowledge" don't just tell me that you possess it! Believe it or not I am a reasonable person and a scientist and I can be moved by a compelling argument, but you failed to offer ANY - instead you quibble over the meaning of certain words when those were exactly the words I meant to use, you try to sidetrack the argument with statements about how much land was "obliterated" in certain National Parks, and NOW you throw Joe Goebbels into the mix??? LOL. Does this come from your "arsenal of knowledge?" If so, you might consider replenshing your "arsenal" with some real weapons. Do you really think you have even come close to making a legitimate argument to support your case? Honestly? I don't. But I suspect you can do better than that.

Besides the fact that your "argument" is weak to non-existant, we obviously do not share certain values. Period. I think that it is a mistake to even try to extract oil from shale. I have no doubt that it can be done. I have little doubt that it will be done. I think the claim that it is profitable at $30/barrel is ludicrous and supported by nothing in the article nor by anything you offered, nor by anything in the legitimate literature. I offered a financial analysis of the known facts to support my position and you rebutted it with misdirection, quibbling, and ad hominem. IMO, even attempting to produce oil from shale is a huge mistake and most objective analysts agree that it will be an environmental disaster and it will be prohibitively expensive, but with oil at $200/barrel it might be profitable. In the decades that it will take to get significant production from oil shale, might we not be better off expending those resources coming up with some real LONG term solutions to our energy problems. So that makes me an enviro-whacko? I'll take that as a compliment. If you think the phrase "total BS" made toward a Shell PR release justifies personal attacks, so be it, have at it, but I'm not going to participate any more...if you scroll up some, you'll find one of my posts with a link to a list of books that I review on another board - I recommend that you read at least one of them and come back with your arsenal stocked with more than conventional dogma....


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The one thing I have learned from you is to be careful to review the board history of the folks I respond to. My experience is that folks who frequently post on the PA and Atheist boards are irrational, unscientific, and obnoxious.

wow - you've really shown your true colors now. Btw, I think I have made ONE post to the Atheist board ever - which was a link to a photo I took during Hurricane Katrina and I've made one post to PA over the last 6 months or so.

So again, you forsake any kind of legitimate point in order to make a personal attack.
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P,

try a productive answer to the question:

What do you propose as fuel(s) for airplanes, trains, trucks, & cars?

it might be useful information to others on the board; though since the 'discussion' has gone astray from the initial post and the question above is not specific to shale-oil you might want to start your own thread.

I probably should have left out the word 'frequently' (or added the Mishedlo boards) in my previous response but I'll stand by my experience in responding to folks that post to those boards. It has been uniformly negative and that is not something you can refute, debate, or denegrate. Adieu.

CSO
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I probably should have left out the word 'frequently' (or added the Mishedlo boards) in my previous response but I'll stand by my experience in responding to folks that post to those boards. It has been uniformly negative and that is not something you can refute, debate, or denegrate. Adieu.

I have this feeling that whereever you go you experience this negativity...your tone is entirely pompous.
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