The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Oil from Stone: A New Report

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted July 10, 2009

By today's estimates, there are about two trillion barrels of recoverable conventional oil resources worldwide, and as much as twice that in additional frontier resources like extra-heavy oil, oil sands, and oil shale and shale gas. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conservatively estimates oil shale formations in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming contain 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil--more than three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia.

With this in mind, a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) reveals that increased production of oil shale could enhance our nation's national security and provide substantial economic benefits.

In the report:

  • As many as 100,000 new jobs could be created by a 2 million barrel per day oil shale industry.
  • The DOE estimates that, in addition to tax revenues, federal and state governments could receive royalties and lease payments topping $2 billion a year.

Sterling Burnett, NCPA Senior Fellow and co-author of the report says:

"America's untapped oil shale offers a long-term source of reliable, affordable and secure energy. Public lands should be leased and the permitting process for production facilities should be streamlined. Obstacles must be removed in order to realize oil shale's full potential."

For more information, read the full NPCA report and use the player below to listen to an EnergyTomorrow Radio episode on oil shale.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.