US has largest oil reserves in the world thanks to Israel

Originally posted one year ago.

Israel sees shale replacing oil

HAIFA, Israel, Nov. 7 (UPI) — The Israeli process for producing energy from oil shale will cut its oil imports by one-third, and will serve as a guide for other countries with oil shale deposits, according to one company.[..]

It would cost about $17 to produce a barrel of synthetic oil at the Hom Tov facility, meaning giant profit margins in a world of $45 to $60 per barrel crude.

The US has been developing technology that is competitive at $30 per barrel and get this,

Oil Shale Development in the United States

Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 trillion (Smith, 1980; Dyni, 2003) to 1.8 trillion barrels (Culburtson and Pitman, 1973; Federal Energy Administration, 1974). 2 About 1 trillion barrels 3 (Smith, 1980; Pitman, Pierce, and Grundy, 1989) are located within the Piceance Basin, meaning that this 1,200 square mile area in western Colorado holds as much oil as the entire world’s proven oil reserves (BP Statistical Review, 2005).

December 23, 2007 | 12 Comments »

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  1. Since this article the process and company hacve bee purchased by Ofer Glazer and Sheri Adelsen

    Saturday, November 11, 2006
    Israel to produce synthetic oil from low quality shale at $17 a
    Analysis: Israel sees shale replacing oil
    By LEAH KRAUSS UPI Energy Correspondent

    HAIFA, Israel, Nov. 7 (UPI) — The Israeli process for producing energy from
    oil shale will cut its oil imports by one-third, and will serve as a guide
    for other countries with oil shale deposits, according to one company.

    A.F.S.K. Hom Tov presented its oil shale processing method on Tuesday,
    outside Haifa and just down the street from one of the country’s two oil
    refinery facilities.

    “Because the patents for this process belong to (the company), Israel is the
    most advanced in the world in the effort to create energy from oil shale,”
    Moshe Shahal, a Hom Tov legal representative and a former Israeli energy
    minister, told United Press International.

    Shahal estimated that the company’s Negev Desert facility would begin
    full-scale production in three to four years, while other countries with oil
    shale deposits will need five to six years to reach production.

    Oil shale is limestone rock that contains hydrocarbons, or fossil fuels —
    about 20 percent of the amount of energy found in coal. Using the rock as a
    raw material and coating it with bitumen, a residue of the crude oil
    refining process, the company can produce natural gas, fuel, electricity, or
    a combination of the three.

    Older technologies squeezed the hydrocarbon material out of the rock, with
    extremely high pressure and at high temperatures.
    According to Professor Ze’ev Aizenshtat, an oil shale expert, the Hom Tov
    process is more environmentally friendly than other /methods of converting
    oil shale into energy. It also allows for more flexibility in the kind of
    fuel produced, produces less waste and operates at lower temperatures than
    other methods.

    Though the production process may be more environmentally friendly, the end
    product is still a fossil fuel, similar in quality to a high-grade diesel
    when in liquid form.

    Israel’s shale is low-quality, however — its “caloric value” is only about
    15 percent, while shale in other countries yields 20 percent, according to a
    report in BusinessWeek earlier this year. As a result, more Israeli shale is
    needed to produce the same amount of fuel.

    Hom Tov isn’t worried, however. “This is a much lighter (substance) than
    what gradually comes out of an oil field,” Aizenshtat told UPI, as Hom Tov
    company owners Israel Feldman and Shimon Kazansky posed for photographs with
    their fingers dipped in a plastic pitcher of the stuff.

    Because fewer refining processes are necessary with oil shale than with
    crude oil, the final product is a higher quality fuel at a lower price,
    Aizenshtat said.

    The company estimates it will consume 6 million tons of oil shale and 2
    million tons of refinery waste each year, for an annual production of 3
    million tons of product.

    It would cost about $17 to produce a barrel of synthetic oil at the Hom Tov
    facility, meaning giant profit margins in a world of $45 to $60 per barrel
    crude. Yearly earnings are forecasted to be between $159 million and $350
    million, Shahal said.

    Israel has 15 billion tons of oil shale reserves. Jordan, on the other hand,
    has about 25 billion tons, and the oil shale in Jordan is of higher quality.
    Shahal met with Jordanian Energy Minister Azmi Khreisat earlier this year,
    to discuss setting up a plant there.

    The United States also has a giant reserve, mostly in Colorado, and Hom Tov
    sees potential for its patented process there.

    The process, which Feldman and Kazansky developed in the mid-1990s, has
    lately attracted some high-powered investors, including Ofer Glazer — the
    third husband of Israel’s richest resident, billionaire Carnival Cruise
    heiress Shari Arison.

    “It’s a kind of dream” to invest in Hom Tov, Glazer told UPI. “It’s the type
    of investment where Israel needs the product, and it creates jobs.”

    Glazer added that it will be good for Israel not to be dependent on
    “external sources” for its energy needs, saying that “those countries aren’t
    exactly friendly (to Israel.)”

    As for his stake in the project, Glazer said he preferred “not to get into

  2. I have read a bit, admittedly not enough, about the Israeli shale process. As I understand it they mix raw shale with petroleum bottoms from a nearby refinery and then distill out a kind of synthetic crude. The process economics will depend on how they value the petroleum bottoms. My guess is zero value. I will dig for more details. If anyone can find a brief statement of the process steps in the Israeli scheme please pass them along.

  3. The tar sands in Alberta, Canada, require a substantial amount of processing to be viable. Right now the money is on heat-energy, but for what it’s worth, in my estimation, that’s old thinking. It’s only the high cost of oil that makes them economically viable. Don’t know if the Israeli idea is applicable to Alberta.

  4. Ted,

    I would like to know where the $30/bbl figure comes from. If this were really the case every major producer in the world, starting with Exxon Mobil and Chevron and Shell would be doing it. They already own reserves in Colorado. I suspect the number is closer to $60-70 but I’m just guessing.

  5. There are other interesting fuel alternatives, many of which require substantial paradigm shifts (the most difficult action in the entire galaxy), both in developing the fuels themselves and in actually using them.

  6. Shalom Yamit 82,

    The only shortage is viable political institutions.

    Fuel is plentiful, whether it is nuclear generated, coal, oil or windmills in Massachuettes.

    Just follow the el-gelt-o.

    Kol tuv,

  7. Axiomatic?Do you want chapter and verse? The Tenach does not fuel the auto or airplanes, heat homes etc.Americans are not in love with nuke power and I am not either there is also a shortage of raw material for fuel down the road. it is I believe more accurate in moon phases though in this I concur.

  8. Shalom Yamit 82,

    Your assumption is as accurate as the phases of the moon. You really offered an axiom.

    Ironic to all this is that the experimental commercial vessel, N.S. Savannah, launched to demonstrate the viability of nuclear power propulsion instead of oil for fuel, America’s key figure in nuclear power was Jewish: Admiral Hyman Rickover.

    The Tenach is more accurate than observations of the phases of the moon.

    Kol tuv,

  9. Shalom Ted,

    Shucks; the Green River Formation range has LESS oil shale than Alberta, Canada’s boreal forest oil shale.

    Canada’s Soncor and Syncrude (with equity participation by ExxonMobile) have already started initial operations in Alberta (Fort McMurray area).

    Of course, Alberta’s oil shale, Colorado’s and Israel’s are priced out of the market if and when greenhouse gas emissions are codified as destroying human life and civilization (read: destroying preexisting Arab oil long-term contracts).

    Kol tuv,

  10. If America does not go for this I could only assume it would threaten entrenched Big money interests, Just like Detroit killed the railroads in the 50’s. and with their Federal Lackeys put final nail in coffen when theu approved Inter State highway programs.

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