August 4, 2010--Study: Amount of water for oil shale production is less than estimated (Grand Junction Sentinel)

An oil shale industry producing the equivalent of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day might require significantly less water than had been previously believed, a study suggests. Much of the water savings could stem from using natural gas to heat shale in place instead of using coal-fired electrical plants the size of those near Craig, the study suggests. Much also depends on the quality and quantity of what is known as “produced water,” or water drawn out of the earth as a byproduct of heating oil shale. The study offers no assurance that an oil shale industry eventually or ever will take shape, said Greg Trainor, of the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, one of two that joined forces to commission the study by Boulder-based AMEC, a consulting, engineering and project-management company. It does, however, suggest an oil shale industry could operate with 120,000 acre-feet of water per year, down from previous estimates of 400,000 acre-feet per year.

To view the full article, visit the Grand Junction Sentinel. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango.