Giant US oil shale deposits :: GN
The United States has an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a study released on Wednesday. "We've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East," said James Bartis, RAND senior policy researcher and the report's lead author. . . .People respond to incentives. Technology to extract the oil has been developed in anticipation that the price of oil would rise to make it profitable to do so. I suspect that the response in production to further price increases would be sufficiently large that ten years from now the price of oil will be below $100/barrel.
For years, the industry and the government considered oil shale a rock that produces petroleum when heated too expensive to be a feasible source of oil. However, oil prices combined with advances in technology could soon make it possible to tap the estimated 500 billion to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels, the report found. That could meet a quarter of the nation's current oil needs for the next 400 years. But the risks are high. It's unclear how new technologies will affect the land, air and the Colorado River, Bartis said.