EcoShale updateJuly 12, 2013
We have discussed Red Leaf Resources EcoShale process numerous times in the past. EcoShale is a means of processing kerogen (oil shale, which is distinct from shale oil, which can be fracked) into a high quality light sweet crude. The EcoShale process is closed loop after priming, using energy derived from the process to run itself, and virtually water free. Red Leaf estimates an ultimate energy return on energy invested (EROI) of at least 10 (the US Department of Energy estimates that total US conventional oil production has an EROI of 10.5). If successful, it has the potential to unlock hundreds of billions of barrels of oil in the states of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Red Leaf was set to begin a demonstration process last year, but pulled the plug in advance of a challenge from environmental groups. An application for plan revision was submitted to the state of Utah in April, and Questerre Energy of Quebec, which holds a large equity stake in Red Leaf, reports on its own website that plans are to begin a commercial-sized operation in 2014.
The EcoShale process has been up to the edge of the starting line several times in the past, so don’t hold your breath, but we will continue to follow the progress of this promising effort.