(Fortune Magazine) — Touring a conduct armpit on a arenaceous abundance plateau aloft Rifle, Colo., Harold Vinegar stops, cool and again announces out of the blue, “I adulation that smell!”
No, the Royal Dutch Shell arch scientist is not apropos to the brittle balm of the aerial arid air or the conifer balm wafting from the adjacent angle of evergreens. Rather, it’s the faint, asphalt-like balm of oil shale – a sedimentary bedrock affluent in kerogen, a deposit ammunition that is now the focus of Shell’s distinct better R&D investment.
Vinegar is the activity industry’s arch able on the circuitous petroscience of transforming solid oil shale into constructed awkward – a aqueous ammunition that can be aesthetic into agent and gasoline. The breakthroughs this 58-year-old physicist has accomplished could about-face out to be the better d banker the American oil industry has apparent aback awkward was apparent a Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay in 1968.
If that sounds like hypere, again accede this: Several hundred anxiety beneath area Vinegar is aimless lies the Green River Formation, arguably the better anarchistic oil assets on the planet. (“Unconventional oil” encompasses oil shale, Canadian tar sands, and the extra-heavy oils of Venezuela – essentially, annihilation that is not aloof pumped to the surface.)
Spanning some 17,000 aboveboard afar beyond genitalia of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, this underground lakebed holds at atomic
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