Following up from another story hitting out at American energy independence, the chatter continues to increase by a small amount. However, and per usual, the only obstacle holding this back are the politics of overblown environmental concerns and the red tape from them, a form of economic warfare. See also this, and this. Until the restrictive tape is removed, it’s likely to remain a pipe dream at best.
Drillers in Utah and Colorado are poking into a massive shale deposit trying to find a way to unlock oil reserves that are so vast they would swamp OPEC.
A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that if half of the oil bound up in the rock of the Green River Formation could be recovered it would be “equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”
Both the GAO and private industry estimate the amount of oil recoverable to be 3 trillion barrels.
“In the past 100 years — in all of human history — we have consumed 1 trillion barrels of oil. There are several times that much here,” said Roger Day, vice president for operations for American Shale Oil (AMSO).
This tantalizing bonanza, however, remains just out of reach, at least for now. The cost of extracting the Green River oil at the moment would be higher than what it could be sold for. And there are significant environmental obstacles.
The operation might require so much water it would compete with Denver and agriculture for vital supplies, the GAO report warned, could pollute underground streams, affect fish and other wildlife, and kick up so much dirt it would leave national monuments in a cloud of dust.
Nevertheless, the federal government has authorized six experimental drilling leases on federal land in an effort to find a way to tap into the riches of the Green River Formation.
Full article: An American Oil Find That Holds More Than All of OPEC (ABC)