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Unlocking Ten Trillion Barrels of Global Oil Shale Resources; The State of the Industry

Recorded On: 11/10/2014

The development of global oil shale resources has regained significant attention around the world in the past few years. Several factors have contributed to this, including high oil prices, emerging recovery technologies, increasing world demand for liquid hydrocarbons, and the continued decline in U.S. conventional oil production.

The United States has vast deposits of oil shale – Nearly 2.0 trillion barrels across the eastern and western states. Significant oil shale deposits also exist around the world, particularly in the Middle East/North Africa, Russia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America. The development of this massive resource, however, is constrained by a number of key factors including, but to limited to; 1) resource access, 2) technology, 3) economics, 4) environmental and regulatory issues, and 5) infrastructure.

A comprehensive analysis has been completed to address these issues and assess the commercial viability of this resource in the United States and around the world. The analysis is based on a representative sample (about 70 Billion Barrels) of U.S. oil shale resource divided among multiple development “tracts”. Four (4) production technologies were also considered. These technologies included emerging in-situ processes as well as traditional mining with surface retorting technology. Each development “tract” was screened for the potential application of each recovery technology. A detailed economic evaluation was conducted for each “tract” and the selected technology. The analysis indicated that with a concerted effort from industry, local, state, and Federal governments, the oil shale potential reserves could reach up to 800 billion barrels in the United States and as much as 1.3 trillion barrels world-wide depending on the oil price.

Khosrow Biglarbigi

President/Director, INTEK Inc

Mr. Khosrow Biglarbigi is the President and Director of Petroleum Engineering of INTEK Inc, an energy management consulting firm in Arlington, VA. He has over sixteen years experience in evaluating conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources, economic analysis, and public policy analysis.

Mr. Biglarbigi is currently managing several oil shale exploration projects in the Middle East/North Africa region, utilizing both surface and near-surface retort technologies. Mr. Biglarbigi has earned both a M.S. and B.S. degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa. He has authored numerous publications related to oil shale, Enhanced Oil Recovery, Horizontal wells, resource evaluation and the development of oil and gas models. Mr. Biglarbigi was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the subject of oil shale in 2009-2010.

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Recorded 11/10/2014
Recorded 11/10/2014 60 Minutes