February 27, 2007--Oil shale has potential to soak up state's water (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

If private companies are pulling commercial-grade petroleum from Colorado, they might have to do it using more water than the Western Slope population now uses...The Colorado River Basin Roundtable is trying to get a handle on the amount of water that could be needed for development of oil shale deposits in Colorado, the richest of which lie between the Colorado and Green rivers in the northwest corner of the state. A federal official has said that production of oil shale could begin by 2015 and at the most ambitious of estimates, could be pumping out 2.5 million barrels of petroleum a day by 2035. Based on estimates that 100,000 barrels of oil a rear require 23,5000 acre-feet of water, oil shale could demand 365,000 acre-feet of water a year. That poses the question of whether Colorado has enough water to develop its oil shale reserves...Little, however, is known about how much water will be needed by extraction methods now under study...Western Colorado needs to decide how it wants to balance the demands of oil shale and other needs.

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