Cover: Constraints on the Commercialization of Oil Shale

Constraints on the Commercialization of Oil Shale

Published 1978

by Edward W. Merrow

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 5.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Examines the problems and prospects for the commercialization of oil shale from surface retorting, and concludes that government support of such an effort is unlikely to result in a viable industry in this century, although oil shale is second only to coal as a U.S. fossil fuel reserve. Alternative technologies, such as modified in situ (in place) processes, are promising but data on them are not abundant enough to permit reliable estimates of commercial-scale costs; government decisions on their commercialization should await the completion of further technical tests and an independent definitive plant design. The study deals mostly with economic and institutional constraints. The cost of shale oil, estimated at about 50 percent above the current world oil price, is the principal barrier to commercialization of surface retorting. The most serious institutional problem is the availability of water in the semiarid shale regions of the United States.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.