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Gerry Clinchy
05-12-2012, 01:23 PM
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gao-recoverable-oil-colorado-utah-wyoming-about-equal-entire-world-s-proven-oil

GAO: Recoverable Oil in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming 'About Equal to Entire World’s Proven Oil Reserves'


CNSNews.com) - The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area of mostly federal land that covers the territory where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Thursday.

The GAO testimony said that the federal government was in “a unique position to influence the development of oil shale” because the Green River deposits were mostly beneath federal land.

It also noted that developing the oil would have an environmental impact and pose “socioeconomic challenges,” that included bringing “a sizable influx of workers who along with their families put additional stress on local infrastructure” and “making planning for growth difficult for local governments.” (more difficult than planning for lack of jobs, revenue, etc.?)

The Green River Formation--an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming--contains the world's largest deposits of oil shale,”Anu K. Mittal, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environment said in written testimony submitted to the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves.”

In her oral statement before the subcommittee, Mittal said that developing the shale oil would create wealth and jobs for the country, but also challenges for government.

“Being able to tap this vast amount of oil locked within this formation will go a long way to help to meet our future demands for oil. The U.S. Geological Survey, as you noted, estimates that the formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil of which half may be recoverable,” she said.

“As you can imagine having the technology to develop this vast energy resource will lead to a number of important socioeconomic benefits including the creation of jobs, increases in wealth and increases in tax and royalty payments for federal and state governments,” she said.

“While large-scale oil-shale development offers socioeconomic opportunities it also poses certain socioeconomic challenges that also should not be overlooked,” she testified. “Oil shale development like other extractive industries can bring a sizable influx of workers who along with their families put additional stressed on local infrastructure. Development from expansion of extractive industries has historically followed a boom-and-bust cycle making planning for growth difficult for local governments.”

In her written testimony (http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/HHRG-112-%20SY20-WState-AMittal-20120510.pdf), Mittal noted that three-fourths of the Green River shale oil is under federal land.

“The federal government is in a unique position to influence the development of oil shale because nearly three-quarters of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior’s (Interior) Bureau of Land Management (BLM),” she testified.

The GAO also cited potential environmental impacts from producing oil from the Green River shale that included the need to draw large amounts of water, possible harm to water quality, and temporary degradation of air quality and the clearing of large amounts of vegetation.

"Developing oil shale and providing power for oil shale operations and other activities will require large amounts of water and could have significant impacts on the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources," Mittal said in her written testimony. "In addition, construction and mining activities during development can temporarily degrade air quality in local areas. There can also be long-term regional increases in air pollutants from oil shale processing and the generation of additional electricity to power oil shale development operations. Oil shale operations will also require the clearing of large surface areas of topsoil and vegetation which can affect wildlife habitat, and the withdrawal of large quantities of surface water which could also negatively impact aquatic life."

Still seems like something we should start working on ... unlike many times in the past when we stripped the wealth in the land without regard for the future impact, we now are more conscious of environmental impacts.

Since we KNOW how long it takes to assess those environmental impacts (3 years & counting just for the XL Pipeline), shouldn't we start now to work on this when the potential benefits are so large?

I'd bet that private sector oil companies would be willing to do the research it on their own dime. Then let the govt review all their work, or provide some oversight as the research progresses ... so that there are no nasty things that get "buried" over the course of the research.

ARay11
05-12-2012, 01:37 PM
This was only recently brought to my attention... thought it was interesting. Not all mother lode's of oil are equal:


http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-sweet-and-sour-crude/

what's typically found in North America is Sour Crude. More difficulty/costly to drill, refine, and fewer things you can do with it. Auto fuel is made primarily from sweet crude, not sour. Sour crude fuels would cost more than sweet crude fuels due to transportation and refining costs. Sour crude has more impurities (higher refining cost) and a higher sulphur content (higher environmental impact cost)

Franco
05-12-2012, 03:47 PM
And, what the left won't tell you is that next to Russia, the USA has the second largest reserves of oil in the world!

Gerry Clinchy
05-12-2012, 05:37 PM
ARay, I've heard this before as well. However, the extra costs of producing and refining "sour oil" are now less daunting because the cost of "sweet crude" has risen so dramatically.

If we don't start now to solve the problems associated with "sour crude" now, we will still be here twiddling our thumbs 10 years from now.

If the govt, were to open up its lands to drilling for this stuff, the oil companies would be motivated to develop the appropriate technologies. Actually, those private sector companies are probably already working on that, but would certainly be motivated to accelerate their research if they had a carrot hanging closer to their nose. Note the thread on the "$1 billion Ghost Town" being built with private sector funds.

Perhaps the problem with Solyndra was the fact that the people running the operation were getting their cut of the bucks before they had to prove the company could make a profit. After that, there might not be quite as much motivation to structure a truly profitable operation. When it failed, investors and taxpayers lost $, but the fellows responsible for the failure could retire rich.

ARay11
05-14-2012, 10:27 AM
It's not just the actual cost of doing business that hinders sour crude.
Oil companies can re-tool and re-fit the refineries $x billion dollars
Profits earned over 10 year period : $xxxx billion dollars
Getting the permit from the EPA to refine high sulphur content crude..... priceless.

Gerry Clinchy
05-14-2012, 01:01 PM
It's not just the actual cost of doing business that hinders sour crude.
Oil companies can re-tool and re-fit the refineries $x billion dollars
Profits earned over 10 year period : $xxxx billion dollars
Getting the permit from the EPA to refine high sulphur content crude..... priceless.
Bingo! The problem COULD be solved if the govt would just get out of the way :-) Provide the opportunity for profit, and the private sector would find the solution. Even with the regs govt would have, if the profit opportunity is large enough, it will get done.

road kill
05-14-2012, 01:49 PM
The United States of America runs on gasoline.
Until a gallon gets back under $3, we are not going to prosper.

End of story..........

J Connolly
05-15-2012, 03:55 PM
The gasoline prices today have a hidden cost that is not considered by most people. It is the billions of dollars the US spends to protect and keep open the shipping lanes to the mid east oil fields. When we can develop our supplies from North America, this includes Canada, we can give the mid east its wish and withdraw our military and let the other nations worry about keeping the shipping lanes open.

menmon
05-15-2012, 04:02 PM
The United States of America runs on gasoline.
Until a gallon gets back under $3, we are not going to prosper.

End of story..........

I've done well while buying $3 gas. My hardest time was the eighties when it was just above a $1

duckheads
05-15-2012, 05:06 PM
I've done well while buying $3 gas. My hardest time was the eighties when it was just above a $1

Nothing like only being concerned about yourself!:rolleyes: What about the people that are barely getting by, the ones you liberals say your are concerned about. How do you think $3 gas is affecting them?

Gerry Clinchy
05-15-2012, 05:35 PM
The gasoline prices today have a hidden cost that is not considered by most people. It is the billions of dollars the US spends to protect and keep open the shipping lanes to the mid east oil fields. When we can develop our supplies from North America, this includes Canada, we can give the mid east its wish and withdraw our military and let the other nations worry about keeping the shipping lanes open.
That's a good point. Will also save fuel for the ships doing the patrolling.

While oil is priced by the global market, if we can provide additional permanent supply (not just temporary like release of strategic reserves), the price will come down for everyone. Savings to both govt and private sector would then be substantial. Not to mention the cost of heating, AC, and every item that needs energy to be produced or transported.

Should be a boon, as well, to developing countries and Europe, too.

Gerry Clinchy
05-15-2012, 05:43 PM
I've done well while buying $3 gas. My hardest time was the eighties when it was just above a $1
If your income increased above the COL, then that makes sense. If that did not occur, or for those whose income decreased (retirement, unemployment, under-employment), I can not make sense of it.

As a Realtor®, I can tell you that the cost of gasoline has changed the way we do business. Delivering a contract is cheaper by overnight mail than driving 30 miles to do so; though the cost of overnight has also gone up. Even more effective to use electronic signing.

During the boom commission percentages went down by 1/6. Now prices are down (sometimes by close to 50%) but at least 1/2 the commissions published are still down at that level during the boom. We still see the short sales mostly back up to pre-boom level ... but you have to be willing to wait 6 mos. to collect your compensation; and spend many more hours to complete the transaction.