test project clears environmental hurdle
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo.
- Federal land managers have concluded that a
test project proposed by EGL Resources Inc. to extract
oil from shale in western Colorado would have no
appreciable environmental impact.
EGL is one
of four companies in the running for Bureau of Land
Management permits to operate experimental oil-shale
projects in Colorado and Utah.
formations in the West are believed to contain a
trillion barrels of oil, four times the oil holdings of
Saudi Arabia, but an affordable and environmentally safe
method of extracting the energy has been elusive.
Texas-based EGL wants to drill a vertical shaft on a
160-acre parcel near Meeker to fracture the shale,
circulate superheated steam or fluids to melt the
oil-bearing materials and then pump the oil to the
reached its environmental conclusions from an
environmental assessment published last week, the
Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Monday.
Frontier Oil & Gas Co. and Chevron Shale Oil Co. are
also seeking BLM permits for experimental oil shale
projects in Colorado. Oil Shale Exploration Co. is
seeking a permit for a project in Utah.
decision on EGL's proposal is expected by the end of
September, said Jim Edwards, chief of the BLM's solid
minerals branch. The agency will take public comments on
the EGL report until Sept.1st.
EGL's oil shale division manager, said he expects field
work on the project to begin next summer. He said the
test will cost "in the tens of millions of dollars."
probably be three years before we know it's successful,"