Shale Oil Estimates Less Promising

A new study from the Utah Geological Survey indicates that that the Uintah Basin’s potential oil-shale resource would amount to about 77 billion barrels of shale oil or less than a quarter of the 321 million barrels of oil-shale resources that had first been estimated in 1964. The numbers that had been quoted in the past were based on extrapolations that had been estimated for areas of the Uintah Basin for which there was no scientifically recorded data. The study was initiated due to concerns over diminishing conventional oil reserves. The assessment answered the questions of where and how much oil shale exists in the Uintah Basin and includes detailed basin wide resource maps.


Title: Basin-wide Evaluation of the Uppermost Green River Formations Oil-Shale Resource, Uinta Basin, Utah and Colorado. Special Study 128
Publisher: Utah Geological Survey
Creator: Vanden Berg, Michael D.
Date issued: 2008-12
Extent: 23 p., 8 plates [maps]
Utah Government Publication Online: Digital Library link
Agency website:UGS press release
In the News: “Oil-shale estimates for Utah dip,” Deseret News, Dec. 17, 2008
In the News: “Utah downgrades its oil-shale estimates,” Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 17, 2008The Annual Energy Outlook presents a midterm projection and analysis of US energy supply, demand, and prices through 2030. The analysis projects virtually no growth in U.S. petroleum use through the year 2030, due to increased use of ethanol and biodiesel and a push toward greater automobile fuel efficiency, including the growing popularity of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. The full publication, to be released in early 2009, will include complete documentation and additional cases examining energy markets.


Title: Annual Energy Outlook 2009 Early Release
Publisher: United States. Energy Information Administration
Date issued: 2008-12
Agency website: Energy Information Administration
In the News: “Oil-shale estimates for Utah dip,”Deseret News, Dec. 17, 2008.

Published by

Ray Matthews

Government Documents and Digital Library Services Coordinator, Utah State Library