Shale oil is a unique hydrocarbon produced by shale rocks that are very rare in the world. It is produced by the process of pyrolysis, thermal dissolution and hydrogenation. The process then converts kerogen- a mixture of organic chemical compounds abundantly found in sedimentary rocks- into synthetic oil and gas which is then used as a fuel. It is also upgraded to meet refinery needs as well.
It was first used in Switzerland and Austria in early 1300s. The historical concept about shale oil is that the Ute Indians of the Great Basin revealed Spanish explorers about a rock that burns. Its been seven centuries that humans are consuming Shale oil. Not long ago, researchers started debating on the commercial scale exploitation of shale oil as a reliable energy source.
Here, we will talk about the top five nations who are enriched by the recoverable shale oil and reserves.
Discovered in 1885, Indonesia wears the crown for being the first oil producer in South East Asia . It entered organisation of petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) in 1962, in 2009, Indonesia became the only country with significant declines in shale oil production. Indonesian govt. began two shale gas study projects, consequently in May, it was announced that the production will begin in 2018.
Canada is the sixth largest shale oil producer and the third largest gas producer in the world. Prime location is the East Coast of Canada; Albert oil shale has 100 l/t oil with the potential oil recovery as well. Other important oil location is the McMurray Formation. The location also consists of a mixture of sand, crude bitumen, clay minerals, water and silica. It is the only reservoir of crude bitumen in the world.
Mexico, a Central American nation is not a part of OPEC but among the largest sources of U.S oil imports. The supergiant oil field in Mexico naming,”Cantarell” peaked in 2004 producing around 2.14 million barrels per day. From that day on, Mexico has seen a steady decline in oil production.
As per the records of organisation of petroleum exporting countries (OPEC), the republic of Venezuela contains around 297.5 barrels of shale oil and 197 tcf of natural gas reserves. The Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt is the only largest crude oil reserve, expanded on the area of fifty five thousand kilometres while the Orinoco Oil Sands is the second largest oil field reserve in the world.
Libya comes on the 9th rank when we are talking about the largest shale oil reserves in the world. Libya is also the owner of Africa’s hydrocarbon stocks of about forty seven billion barrels. The catastrophe took place in 2011 sent oil production only of about twenty eight percent of its 2010 levels. Libya is a place of Silurian hot shale which is the most crucial hydrocarbon source rock in Arabia and North Africa.