Wednesday, 27 July 2011 16:52

Is Shale Oil Useful?

Wikipedia: "Oil shale, an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil can be produced." Shale oil is, because of a theory by the Rand Corporation in the 1980's, one of the most controversial energy sources of today's industry. In the USA they say “It uses too much precious water! It’s unproven technology!”. In Estonia, a company produces around 25 thousands of crude oil a day. 


To gain oil from shale oil is, for some environmentalists, indeed, a very unconventional process. They say, this wastes a lot of water. However, in Estonia, the plant uses as less water as possible. The drier the shale, the better the result. Eight power plants are already working in Estonia, and the leading company plans to open two more.

Shale oil is a great opportunity for Estonia to provide energy and fuel for its factories and households. To gain a barrel of oil from shale oil is more efficient than buying crude oil from great traders. We all know, how high the actual crude prices are. As Lincoln Brown /Townhall Finance/ wrote:
“In the midst of the debt ceiling debacle (I refuse to call it a debate at this point) Senator Marco Rubio declared “ We don’t need new taxes, we need new taxpayers, people who are gainfully employed, making money, paying into the tax system.” Despite what the environmentalists will tell you, oil shale works. And it works well. And the proof lies in Estonia, of all places. Oil shale means job and it means you can pay less at the pump. “

The USA, Germany and other big countries should stop importing expensive crude oil for their factories and machines. These countries should open their eyes and search for profitable resources at home. Shale oil is almost everywhere to find and it can be turned in quite a similar amount of power as conventional crude. However, we have to mention some “well-known” issues of shale oil, such as land use, waste disposal, water use, waste-water management, greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution. Actually, many of this issues are not even real. Just look at Estonia. They don't even use water in their plants, and they still gain a great amount of oil. I think, people should not get stuck to old theories from the 1980's. In the past few years, technology and techniques improved a lot and there are new ways to discover. In my opinion, we should give shale oil a chance and use it. Maybe this would be a great replacement of crude oil for some time. Who knows?

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