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Producing fuel from oil shale - learning from the experience of others

What is happening in the world in places where there are oil shale deposits, should it be done even though it is apparently economically worthwhile to exhaust them?

A drilling rig for oil shale gas production in Pennsylvania. From Wikipedia
A drilling rig for oil shale gas production in Pennsylvania. From Wikipedia

In light of the intention to utilize oil shale underground (in a process known as fracking) for the production of fuel in the Adulam region and due to the overwhelming opposition of the residents of the region and the green bodies, Harini brings to the readers the main points on various websites in the world.

In various places there are oil shale from which crude fuel or gas can be produced. The large reservoirs of the oil shale are found in the soil, until recently their production was not economical. Recently, following the development of technological methods for production and at the same time the increase in oil prices - the production of fuel from oil shale has become worthwhile in a short-term economic calculation without considering environmental, social, scenic and future aspects.

Since the shale is deep in the ground, a method was developed that can simply be described as follows: holes are drilled down to the shale layer, hot water and substances that melt or vaporize the shale are injected through the drilling. The liquid or gas is pumped.

The concerns about damage to the environment are mainly: damage or poisoning of water bodies, serious damage to the landscape, and air pollution in the vicinity of the drilling. "The body for preserving food and water". (Food & Water Watch) publishes a report on the risks and the economic costs that do not coincide with the publications of the fuel companies.

The organization summarizes the state of fuel production from oil shale in countries where production is already underway, or where there are attempts by fuel companies to produce:

The full report

The data
In France and Bulgaria, public pressure arose that caused the governments to ban the production. The Polish government promoted the production with a blessing, but it turned out that bribery offenses were discovered in the process, which causes the production to be delayed.

In South Africa, a request by "Royal Dutch Shell" (Royal Dutch Shell) to produce fuel in the Karoo Basin is being examined (the Karoo is a semi-desert area that is one of the popular tourist destinations because of its unique biological and scenic diversity). Since the residents of the area are poor and the company promises a significant improvement in the standard of living, and since according to the forecasts it is possible to produce the energy consumption of DRAP for many years, and despite strong objections from green and other bodies - it must be assumed that "Shel"'s request will be accepted and Karo will suffer irreparable damage .

In China, the government is pushing for the development of the shale fields with Chinese and American oil companies in the background. In Argentina, the government supports gas and oil companies that have started developing and producing oil and gas from shale fields.

And with us we can wait and see what will prevail: the greed that does not see further than the end of the nose of the producers or the common sense that relies on the need for a healthy environment.
Because instead of exposing the residents of the region to the damage they will cause, instead of causing environmental destruction, instead of harming water sources and the region's ability to provide living options under fair conditions, governments must prohibit the harm and instead take measures to reduce consumption and develop green or renewable energy sources.

Because as already said, the time has come that instead of controlling the environment for the sake of the human population, there will be control of the human population for the sake of the environment!

35 תגובות

  1. Gao Engineering - First of all, the issue of climate engineering is still in its infancy, and the danger is that if we try to fix one thing, we will cause damage in other unexpected places. The best thing is to simply stop the carbon emissions.

  2. When you edit a scientific website, you will decide that Science and Nature are not good enough sources. For me and hundreds of thousands of scientists, they are absolutely enough. This is not a criticism of you, you are a victim of the Koch brothers' brainwashing.
    As for the subject of engineering engineering, I will read, but it is interesting that you sent me to the review section.

  3. my father
    Thanks for the quick reply.
    Regarding your claims, any publication that is one-sided and even called Nature or Science and certainly the scientist, is suspicious to me as missionary, one-sided is the one who only presents a solution of an immediate reduction of fossil fuel consumption and does not take into account other options.
    One of the likely possibilities is, for example, that the efficiency of solar energy conversion will continue to improve at the same rate that it has been improving in recent years, and then we will reach an energy economy based on the conversion of solar energy and not on the burning of fuels, so that in the future there is no expected problem of excess heat in the atmosphere.
    And the other possibility that I mentioned and about which I would love to read more about is the Geo Engineering whose Wikipedia entry is here:

  4. As I answer everyone. The site adheres to the line of Science and Nature, and because of this the site is respected in the academy. Are these respected journals also missionaries?

    The skeptics are a minority in academia, and the major journals do not publish their findings except in the margins. As a scientific site I have to support the main line of science and not all kinds of conspiracy theories.
    I would love to receive details about Geo Engineering, and how you think it will be able to solve the problem. As for reducing consumption, rest your mind, today there is enormous waste and first of all it needs to be cut, secondly, the oil giants who finance the denial in the media and buy politicians (they actually hijacked the Republican Party and made it ridiculously anti-scientific), want to prevent development in the field of energy the alternative They do this in cunning ways, such as penetrating the e-mails of researchers and distorting their content so that it is thought that there was some kind of manipulation of the data (while several investigative committees checked and found that the scientists acted with scientific integrity) and more.
    As long as those who support warming are scientists and those who oppose it and finance it are oil giants, you will understand which side you should support.

    If I support the other side (of the warming idiots) the science website will stop being a scientific website and will be another capitalist blog....

    my father

  5. Hello father
    I love and am a regular reader of the scientist, but on the topic of global warming, the scientist has a line that is completely missionary and not completely scientific.
    Even if we do not dispute the fact that the earth is warming, it is still not completely clear that humans and especially the release of CO2 from fossil fuels is the only or the main cause of the phenomenon. Beyond that, regarding the solutions to the phenomenon, the website assumes (although we do not do so explicitly) that the only solution to the phenomenon is a drastic reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels and not, for example, GEOENGINEERING solutions which are infinitely cheaper and simpler to implement.

  6. Father, factually (and I am an organic geochemist by training), the IEI company's method does not require fracking at all. This is not a matter of opinion. Their proposal is clear, it is about heating in the soil condenser and not about creating cracks in the rock under high water pressure.

    It is possible to discuss whether the proposed method is a good method or not, dangerous or not, harmful to the environment or not - but nothing can be concluded about it from a comparison with fracking.

    The only thing that I think should be concluded from the fracking affair in the world is that before drilling commercially, it is worthwhile to do a scientific study that will test the proposed method in Adulam, under Adulam's conditions. Such research requires test drilling.

    We dedicated a large article in Scientific American Israel to the subject of fracking in the US and also an interview with the chief geologist of IEI.

  7. Thanks.
    I explained to you the problem of relying on a commercial company with an interest compared to, for example, an independent Israeli geologist, if there is one that supports you. And I hope you understand that this may be an opening for more companies like the one I referred to that are looking to invest a little in public relations instead of a lot in real environmental quality.

  8. My father - it is clear what he was relying on and it was clear from the beginning (it appears in the body of the column): about an article that talks about something else. This is the case with respect to all the places without exception that are referred to by the document on which the article is based and on which the opinion is based. I quote: "The organization summarizes the state of fuel production from oil shale in countries where production is already underway" (as Assaf writes). While in practice it is about producing natural gas (mainly) and also oil from what is known in English as shale gas, which is something different, using fracking (which is not relevant at all). Read the first footnote in the article. Read the title of the article (which talks about fracking).
    I think we have exhausted the discussion option in the comments - if you want to study the subject seriously, you are welcome to contact us. If not, please continue to provide your readers with articles on geological topics from ecologists

  9. You exaggerated a bit in the apology request, no one is stopping you from expressing your position in the comments mechanism. You have explained it well so far.

    I also hope that after I released Assaf's response, which was blocked because he inserted two links into it (part of the defense system against spam comments), the position he presented is clearer, and it is also clear what he relied on.

  10. Assaf - I'm desperate. Ask any geologist and they will explain. For the record, fracking is a process in which a deliberate fracturing of the rock is created (usually to extract gases trapped in it, as in the case of shale gas). This action is not necessary at all and will not occur in the process proposed by us.
    If you have an ounce of respect for your readers, you will publish clarifications and apologies. If not, you will probably continue to base yourself in ignorance and tell your readers that you bring "examples from the world".

  11. To Moses
    Oil or gas shale was the
    The difference is in the level of "cooking" of the organic material and in the final product,
    "Fracking" is the name given to the method of extracting oil or gas from oil shale,
    When the principle is to separate (and melt) the ore by heating,
    The heating by flowing hot water into the soil thickener, in the process toxins are formed
    that may penetrate the water bodies, on the surface smoking chimneys,
    The danger to the water bodies and the land exists, the air pollution and the noise exist.
    If the company where you work intends to extract the ore in a different way,
    Please enlighten our eyes,
    And no... Hess!

  12. Gentlemen who responded:
    I have already written many times that "comment ends with reading comprehension", because if the commenters were bothering
    If read properly, you would have noticed that the entire list is a summary of two long lists
    which refer to the method of extracting oil or gas from oil shale in the earth's crust,
    Any response from anyone who has not read the list of data and the full report... is pointless.
    In the last paragraph I express my personal opinion,
    Anyone who wants to call an opinion that supports a healthy environment "political"... Shame on him.

  13. Father - are you serious? Oil shale and gas shale are two different things. This is a basic fact. It has nothing to do with the question of whether or not to produce or anything else, neither a matter of expertise nor a matter of interpretation. Check the internet for five minutes and you'll see. All the deposits to which the article refers as an example of oil shale in the world are not oil shale. I repeat - all the examples he gives refer to another resource, not oil shale. Not the same resource, not the same technology. Because there are similarities - first of all the name - the writer and the editor (I assume it's you) just got confused and mixed up the two (I want to believe that this is not a deliberate deception).

    Since you probably didn't bother to check, here is a short explanation: Shale gas is defined as natural gas from shale formations. The shale acts as both the source and the reservoir for the natural gas


    Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock containing a solid material (kerogen) that converts to liquid oil when heated

  14. gift

    As far as we can find, more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly ways to create food, energy and living areas,
    In the same way, we will increasingly turn our attention away from the disproportionate growth of the world's population,
    which will eventually reach a critical point that will lead to a worldwide crisis.
    And in a crisis there are far fewer means and capabilities for a solution.

  15. My father - it was not my position that oil should be produced from shale in Israel. But as a scientific site, this is the site that should bring the claims of the scientists therefore and therefore. The above article was extremely superficial and did not refer directly to the working method as presented in the lecture I gave in one of my previous responses. Sometimes even scientists have personal opinions that are biased by different values ​​and different prejudices and it seems that the above article is an example of this interesting case. In my opinion, the matter should be examined in depth before any opinion.
    My personal opinion is: any use of fossil fuels of any kind should stop as soon as possible. Only the hunger for another energy will lead to finding a solution to global warming and the future of our children.
    If so, it seems that the method they want to implement in Israel is much better for the environment than the way it is done in Canada, for example, where vast virgin areas are cleared and Sodom and Gomorrah are left.
    Besides, you don't have to accept any word of any commercial company and there is no need to bring examples.

  16. It is not clear why we should accept as a language the word of a commercial company. For example, will we accept the position of the mine owners near Arad?

    Please note that I do not recommend this site - it is a site of the mine operators and I bring it as an example to the people of the company that wants to extract oil shale from the Adulem region.

    And besides Moshe, it's very embarrassing to defend a company, to accuse me of something embarrassing in that her words are treated with skepticism, and only a response later to say in passing that you work for her.

  17. Again, with all due respect to the company, it is an interested party, the ones who determine the scientific position are researchers in the academy. Please name one Israeli geologist who supports your position.

  18. Avi Shalom It seems that Assaf's approach is also not objective. It was appropriate that if he were to write an article claiming to be scientific, he would bring the opinion of the objective expert. It is true that shale mining in the world destroys the environment, and it may be that the danger is great in Israel as well. However, in Israel the matter should be based on a different technology and our feelings and fear about the environment must be separated from the facts. And apparently Israel is geologically unique. It is still the responsibility of the writer to prove his words if he thinks not, to bring the opinion of a geologist. Or he will accept the opinion of those who are involved in the matter, i.e. the company that is going to extract fuel from the shale.

  19. My father - first, I am not objective and do not pretend to be. I work for the company in question. I'm just here on my own behalf and not as an official response from the company. Believe that you don't need an expert to explain the difference between shale gas and shale oil (which is what Israel has). This difference is not a matter of opinion or position. It's a matter of five minutes of research and reading on the Internet, you don't even need to go beyond Wikipedia. Also in the USA, there are deposits of oil shale, and there are deposits of shale gas, and these are two different things. The only connection is in the similar name.
    You write in one of the comments above that this article is "based on solid facts" - woe to the eyes that see that way..."solid facts" except for the fact that the article to which he refers talks about a different type of resource that is produced with a different technology. This is simply misleading the readers. You are welcome, honestly, to contact us and hear the things yourself, or continue to rely on biased publications that claim to be "scientific".

  20. It's interesting that Israel is unique, and I heard this a lot in the movie we were directed to where the CEO of the company that does the drilling says this. I would love for an objective expert to identify himself by name and prove it, to say such things.
    And besides, the knowledge site is not subject to any media tycoon (or any other tycoon).

  21. Gentlemen, it is embarrassing that a website called "Hidan" fails with such ignorance: there is no connection between the planned production of oil shale in Adullam and shale gas and fracking in other parts of the world. It's a different resource and it's a different technology and in Israel fracking is not required at all. The only thing that is similar is the word shale in the name and it turns out that this is enough to mislead the scientist!!
    If you have any shred of seriousness and scientific credibility you will post a correction and an apology. shameful. This is what happens when you let an ecologist who doesn't understand oil write about a subject he doesn't understand, you are left with zero science and XNUMX% populism like - "With us you can wait and see what will prevail: greed that doesn't see further than the end of the nose of the producers or common sense that relies on the need for the environment creation"

  22. The respected writer confuses gas shale with oil shale. Gas shale is found at depths of about 3,000 meters+ inside opaque rock and only with the methods he mentioned can the gas molecules be extracted from them. Oil shale is usually found up to a depth of several hundred meters and until now there was no method to extract the fuels from them. In the USA, the oil shale is within the aquifer layer, so in situ oil production has not yet been approved there. Incidentally, in Israel and Jordan, this layer is hydraulically disconnected from the aquifer, so there is a chance to extract a lot of oil from them.
    Regarding the oil shale pilot - the head of the Mate Yehuda Regional Council and the opponents of the project ordered a study on the environmental damage expected from the pilot. The results of the research were presented to him and some of the residents. Guess what the result of the study was? You don't have to be a genius to understand why the results were shelved.

  23. Hello
    As someone who founded the knowledge site, you will agree with me that I know what it was founded for. Well, it was established to give a platform to science as it is without omissions and without additions. Unfortunately, very strong political factors are at the basis of the denial of warming and not scientific truth. Nothing has happened in recent years to slow the warming or reverse the direction. The only difference is the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, by the heads of the US oil industries in the Republican party leaders to such an extent that those who support warming know that they will not be elected again.
    This thing affects the whole world because there are many who consider themselves capitalists, and see the Republicans in the USA as the role model.
    I heard Rick Santorum argue this week that earth science is political science. He is wrong. The science is unequivocal, very close to the absolute certainty of sciences such as evolution and certainly physics.
    The problem is that the Republicans are against raising taxes, and in order not to raise taxes and pay for the damage they cause to the planet with their consumption, they resorted to the tactic of denial - there is no problem so you don't have to pay for it.
    I can't understand why this should change for us in Israel and disrupt the fact of warming and the dangers to the environment from the fossil energy industry before the Hebrew readers?
    It is a fact that the 'opinion' is shared by all bodies dealing with popular science - starting with Popular Science, Scientific American, Galileo, and of course the science site.

    It is true that Dr. Rosenthal's article is written as an opinion piece, but the facts there are solid. It is a shame that we have reached a situation where adherence to solid science is suspected as a political position. This is very bad.

  24. It's been a long time since I've seen political articles for the sake of the environment in scientific places.
    In my opinion, this is not justified. Scientific websites and scientific magazines should present relevant facts and provide scientific knowledge and the reader will decide for himself what his political position will be, but this is not the case.
    As I have mentioned both on this website and in the Popular Saints magazine, I see more and more articles with a distinct political opinion that until now I have turned a blind eye to, but after this article I have simply had enough. I entered the site not for political opinions of this or that but to enrich my scientific knowledge and instead I see more and more articles with a distinct political opinion that always comes from one side of the political map on the issue of environmental quality.
    I think the readers should set a red line and say so far it is impossible for writers to use sites like this to push their political positions, that's not why they established the science site.
    I would love to hear your opinion on this matter.

  25. You don't have to exaggerate if anything, in recent times everything that's new, the extreme greens, become terrible and terrible
    not to produce oil
    Do not pray water
    Not for antibiotics
    Not for medical research (against the use of animals for research)

    It seems that for you it is better that we all go back to the cave and live on average until the age of 21 like before, without air pollution...

  26. I'm usually discouraged by human villainy, and I don't bother to respond,
    But fracking is indeed a very special and aggressive way to completely destroy and pollute huge amounts of land (and water!) in the long term for a small and momentary economic benefit.

    So of course I agree with Danny about why this will eventually be done here as well - corruption, opacity and lack of care.
    It is also worth mentioning here the episode that Southpark did about BP in the context of "normal" drilling.
    We're sorry..

  27. In order for the discussion here to be more relevant and accurate, it is worth seeing
    Usually people descend here into generalizations and prejudices without knowing the facts and it's a shame
    To criticize at least the facts and not generalizations unrelated to what is going to happen in the country
    In the world of Pizli's story, oil really pollutes and destroys nature. It is not clear what will happen in Israel, but here the technology is completely different from what is done in the world and a review to be factual.

  28. You can give up producing fuel from oil shale and buy oil from the Persians, the Persians will invest the money in building nuclear bombs that will drop on us and destroy the landscape and harm the quality of the environment, the main thing is that the greens will come to their satisfaction.

  29. Insofar as the review exhausts what has already been done in this field in the world, it seems that mainly the hidden one is greater than the visible one, ZA, there is still not enough experience in other countries in the world in this field. ZA, the company that continues to produce oil shale in the Adulam area, was able to build on our long-term experience. The fact that this is the beautiful Adolum region, a natural travel and recreation area relatively close to our population centers is very troubling.
    Speaking of which, the discovery of oil deposits off our shores could in the future cause a tremendous ecological disaster to our shores if what happened in the Gulf of Mexico happens here. It is possible that our seashores are the most important natural resource in Israel for the general public and everything should be done so that the feverish companies are forced to take all the precautions that exist today in the world in order to prevent an ecological disaster that even comes close to what happened in the Gulf of Mexico just two years ago.

  30. Tired of worrying about the environment.

    Man's permission is the ability of man to control the environment and not be a slave to it.

    If we can benefit from the environment, we must do so and then future generations will get used to the natural landscapes that will be there in their time.

    If "green bodies" existed in the past we would still be living like Bedouins in tents.

  31. If I understood correctly, Minister Steinitz claimed that it was more logical once, when we claimed that an apple always falls down
    Because that's what he decided, it's more comfortable for him to be down and not as they say today, 'gravity'
    Not clear not caught.

    Let's start by saying that if man hurts nature, disrespects him with his body, nature is offended, offended, angry,
    Since he is very merciful, before he punishes, he waits longer and longer, perhaps the person will repent,
    He will ask for forgiveness and only after nature sees that man continues and continues only then…….

    My childhood is naive but understood... after all, most of humanity is naive...

  32. Even today, your production was uneconomical (plus the environmental destruction) which is at least 10 times the cost of production.
    But it is always possible to bribe some key factors, so that they ignore the environmental damage.
    And whoever produces fuel from the shale, will not pay the full price, only the production price.

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