Open Access

Table 1.

Oil shale development projects in the World (Source: Authors’ research)

Country Projects Plans Current state and prospects
Jordan El Lajjun Synthetic oil production was planned at 7.5 million tons by 2015. Three approaches to oil shale development were announced: synthetic oil production through in situ (Shell’s ICP technology) and surface retorting as well as direct oil shale burning for power generation. Most of the synthetic oil production projects have been postponed beyond 2020 due to oil prices drop and environmental concerns. The first oil shale burning 500 MW $2.5 billion power plant project is under development since 2008 by Jordan government in cooperation with Estonian and Chinese parties. Operations are planned to start in 2020.
Attarat Um
Israel Shfela The initial oil was planned to be produced by the end of 2012-beginning of 2013, the planned production volume amounted to 13.5 million tons. Projects development has been postponed indefinitely due to legal proceedings between parties. Prospects of oil shale development have been subject of controversy and ecology concerned protests.
Morocco Tarfaya 3 million tons of synthetic oil production was to begin in 2013. Agreement for development was signed with the companies San Leon Energy and Global Oil Shale.Start of production was planned for 2012. In 2016, San Leon Energy suspended financing of the project, until the recovery of oil prices. In the same year, Global Oil Shale suspended the project due to a shift in the company's strategy towards cement production.In 2008 a 20-year ban was imposed on shale development. In 2011 restrictions were lifted, but ecological and technological requirements have become much stricter.
Australia McFarlane
Julia Creek
China Fushun According to China's National Energy Administration, kerogen oil production can measure up to 10 million tons. In 2015, two technologies of in situ oil production using hydraulic fracturing and high-temperature formation treatment were studied and successfully tested, which will be used for the development of deep-seated and more massive deposits. Further modernization and testing of these technologies in the framework of integrated development of shale oil and gas and oil shale production corresponds to the 13th five-year plan of economic and social development until 2020.
Brazil Irati formation Petrobras has been developing oil shale formations since 90’s, using the ex situ retorting technology Petrosix. However, currently offshore pre-salt fields hold higher priority for the company, due to kerogen projects’ higher costs, geological, technological and ecological challenges.
Estonia Graptolitic Due to limited resource base and strict EU ecological legislation, the country’s own production is not developing. At the same time, Estonian companies are active at exporting technologies, oilfield services and expertise to China, Jordan and US.

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