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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Oil Shale reserves
carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
Location: camborne, cornwall

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 13/12/2009 00:42:46
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Given the estimated reserves of the above does that influence decisions on alternative energy supplies? I think the answer is fairly obvious. A link to Wiki and and photo. [web link]


(click image to open full size image in new window)

Interesting to go back to earlier days.


(click image to open full size image in new window)

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Imageo

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Joined: 03/05/2009
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 13/12/2009 04:12:52
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Yes, an interesting issue, Carnkie. Out here (Australia) mention of oil shales is guaranteed to generate a swarm of environmental protest and the closure of the Stuart Oil Shale operation near Gladstone due to technical difficulties hasn't helped the cause. I'm afraid it's very much seen as the dirtiest end of the hydrocarbon extraction industry. Interestingly the oil shale deposits at Julia Creek in central Queensland are also one of the world's largest potential sources of vanadium - but nobody seems to be able to get that going either.

Australia has a long history of oil shale production for various products. I have a ~6mb scanned version of an A4 booklet (late 1980s ?) produced by Southern Pacific Petroleum (they started up the Stuart operation) in support of their Stuart project - 'History of Australia's Shale Oil Industry. If anyone wants a copy please PM me.

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rhychydwr

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Cwmparc, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 13/12/2009 09:24:11
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At one time Scotland was famous for its shale oil:

*OIL-SHALE

No More Bings in Benarty. Published by the Benarty Mining Heritage Group. 1992 £5 pf on Ebay 20.08.07. Account of the rise and fall of coal mining in Benarty hill area , how it influenced people’s lives, interesting look at social history of good people

Geikie, Sir Archibald 1900 The Geology of Central and Western Fife and Kinross. Glasgow, HMSO. 206-206 Oil-Shale.

Kerr, David 1999 2nd revised edition. Shale Oil Scotland . The World’s Pioneering Oil Industry 158 illus. Not read

Shale Oil


James Young lived from 13 July 1811 to 13 May 1883. He was a Scottish chemist who patented processes for extracting oil for certain types of coal and from oil shale. The result was an industry that transformed West Lothian and resulted in the world's first oil refinery.


http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usbiography/biographies/jamesyoung.html
accessed 6.06.07




General
Boghead's cannel coal eventually ran out, just as Alfreton's had done. But this time Young had the answer readily to hand. The surrounding area was hugely rich in oil shale. This provided lower yields of oil than cannel coal, but it was cheap and easy to extract, and provided the basis of an industry that for 50 years or more from 1865 mined 3 million tonnes of oil shale each year from under West Lothian.
In 1865 Young brought out his partners and set up Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company with a new plant at Addiewell, near Bathgate. The company ended up selling paraffin oil and paraffin lamps all over the world, earning its owner the nickname James Paraffin Young.
The West Lothian oil shale industry carried on at full capacity until around 1910. Then it began to decline in the face of competition from directly extracted crude oil, first from the USA, then elsewhere including the Middle East. The industry finally ground to a halt in the 1950s. It leaves a legacy of pinkish-red "bings" or tips of oil shale waste that seem to resist all efforts by nature to reclaim them.





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Morlock

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Joined: 31/07/2008

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 13/12/2009 09:38:04
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The Bings stand out like a sore thumb. Big Grin

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=55.785918&lon=-3.560312&z=16.1&r=0&src=msl

Bit like the un-retouched Duffryn tip.

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.641021&lon=-3.676408&z=17.3&r=0&src=msl
IP: 82.2.141.165 Edited: 13/12/2009 09:42:41 by Morlock
carnkie

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Location: camborne, cornwall

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 13/12/2009 13:30:39
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Imageo wrote:

Yes, an interesting issue, Carnkie. Out here (Australia) mention of oil shales is guaranteed to generate a swarm of environmental protest and the closure of the Stuart Oil Shale operation near Gladstone due to technical difficulties hasn't helped the cause. I'm afraid it's very much seen as the dirtiest end of the hydrocarbon extraction industry. Interestingly the oil shale deposits at Julia Creek in central Queensland are also one of the world's largest potential sources of vanadium - but nobody seems to be able to get that going either.

Australia has a long history of oil shale production for various products. I have a ~6mb scanned version of an A4 booklet (late 1980s ?) produced by Southern Pacific Petroleum (they started up the Stuart operation) in support of their Stuart project - 'History of Australia's Shale Oil Industry. If anyone wants a copy please PM me.


Canada also has a long history of oil shale production and the reserves in Alberta are quite staggering. The reserve that is deemed to be technologically retrievable today is estimated at 280-300Gb (billion barrels). This is larger than the Saudi Arabia oil reserves, which are estimated at 240Gb. The total reserves for Alberta, including oil not recoverable using current technology, are estimated at 1,700- 2,500Gb.
[web link]

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IP: 80.47.139.141 Edited: 13/12/2009 13:38:03 by carnkie
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 15/12/2009 08:38:51
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oil shale is dirty, in environmental terms, and not particularly cheap. Break-even figures vary with who is providing them, as they often tend to do, but somewhere around $80/bbl seems to be the mark.

oil is currently hovering in the $70's so oil shale isn't viable right now.

there are also differing approaches to production; underground extraction vs mining and surface processing. The results of mining are as already described.

however there is nothing technically difficult about mining and surface extraction, and it was once a thriving industry in some areas. That's why MASHAM specifically refers to 'coal, shale and fireclay'
IP: 149.254.49.1
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Oil Shale reserves
Posted: 17/12/2009 21:17:54
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The best summary of UK oil shale reserves and past working is in A.Strahan "Memoirs of the Geological Survey: Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: vol.VII: Mineral Oil, Kimmeridge Oil Shale, Lignite, Jets, Cannel Coals, Natural Gas", London: Geological Survey of Great BRitain, 1918; 2nd ed 1920. At that time the existence of offshore oil and gas was barely dreamt of, so the greater part of the volume is devoted to cannel coal and oil shale - mainly Scottish, but also Flintshire.

A good book on the Scottish cannel coal and oil shale industry was published about ten years ago, entitled "Shale Voices" (apologies but I do not have full details to hand).

For the Flintshire cannel coals and oil shales, there is also a very brief summary in T.M.Thomas "The Mineral Wealth of Wales and its Exploitation", Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1961, pp.49-50. More detail, mainly from the perspective of the railways and industrial tramways that served the Flintshire oil works appeared in a series of seven articles in "Archive" about six years ago (apologies but I do not have full details to hand).

Cannel coal and oil shales are an intriguing and little known aspect of UK mineral exploitation; the total tonnages extracted were very considerable and the volume sof oil produced were - by the standards of the time - significant. Indeed, I seem to recall that the government supported the industry until shortly after the First World War as its contribution to meeting UK oil demand at that period was considered very important in time of war when Russian and US supplies might be cut off.

UK cannel coal and oil shale exploitation was very labour intensive, being based on underground mining techniques similar to coal mining. Any possible future exploitation would very likely be based on opencasting.


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