Shale Oil

Topics: Petroleum, Oil shale, Natural gas Pages: 3 (1009 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Shale Oil
A new player -at least in the United States- is entering in the game with a lot of enthusiasm among some of the audience, and a lot of skepticism by some others, that this unconventional player will overtake the conventional ones any time soon. Although, Big hops are held on the new player in the future. This new player is oil shale. The number estimated of oil shale in place in the US is around 4.28 trillion Barrel. An immense amount that’s even hard to imagine. Unfortunately, this amount is not 100% recoverable and the actual recoverable amount is unknown due to the lack of economic methods of recovery. The extraction of economic quantities of oil shale will be true in the near future due to the huge investments in this field. Shale oil can be extracted by pyrolysis, electrofracking, and rubbulization of oil shale. Oil shale lies between crude oil and coal in both of its appearance and composition. It is a carbonate rock that contains a significant amount of Kerogen. Kerogen is an intermediate stage that hydrocarbons pass through in the process of changing from organic materials to crude oil and gas. Several technologies are proposed for extracting shale and pyrolysis is one of them. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperature in the absence of oxygen. This process causes a change in the chemical composition and the phase of the hydrocarbon present in the Kerogen. Pyrolysis of rocks can be performed either above ground or within the rock formation itself. Most oil shale industries perform the shale oil extraction process after the rock is mined, crushed, and transported to a retorting facility. The temperature at which Kerogen decomposes into usable hydrocarbons varies with the time scale of the process; in the above-ground retorting process decomposition begins at 300 °C (570 °F), but proceeds more rapidly and completely at higher temperatures. Decomposition takes place...
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