Enefit Oil Shale
- Oil shale reserves in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming are estimated to contain 800 billion barrels of oil.
- Oil shale is among the dirtiest feedstock for oil on the planet in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Enefit holds a research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) lease in the Uintah Basin of Utah adjacent to the Colorado border. If they prove commercial viability, the stage is set to expand operations to encompass thousands of acres for mountaintop removal style strip mining and onsite processing.
- The immense amounts of water needed for processing oil shale would come from the already drought stressed and overused Colorado River Basin.
We can’t let this industry take hold in Utah.
Enefit’s South Project:
Enefit’s “South Project”, as proposed, would involve the strip mining of over 9,000 acres of land and the construction and operation of a 50,000 barrel per day oil shale retort facility. Enefit intends to strip-mine about 28 million tons of rock a year over thousands of acres of high-desert habitat. It will also construct a major production facility to bake the rock at high temperatures. The half-square-mile processing plant, about 45 miles south of Dinosaur National Monument, will turn pre-petroleum stones into refinery-ready oil. This project requires, among other things, a right-of-way (ROW) across BLM land for utilities, including a water pipeline that will pipe over 10,000 acre-feet per year out of the Green River.
2018: Enefit requests a right-of-way (ROW) from the BLM for utilities to service the “South Project”—19 miles of water supply pipeline, 8 miles of natural gas supply pipeline, 10 miles of oil product line, 29 miles of power lines, and 5 miles of upgrading to Dragon Road.
2018: The BLM issued a decision to permit the right of way. This right of way through public land is in effect a subsidy to the oil shale industry, decreasing expenses tremendously and making the likelihood of demonstrating commercial viability greater.
February 2019: Conservation groups issued a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for approving rights-of-way for pipelines and power lines that pave the way for the nation’s first commercial oil shale development. See the press release here.
In the news:
Groups Plan to Sue Feds Over Utah Oil-Shale Project– Mark Richardson, Public News Service – UT, Feb 28 2019.
Decision on shale project right of way may be made in early July– Dennis Webb, The Daily Sentinel, May 22 2018.
For more on the project and how to comment, visit go.usa.gov/csa9j.