Shale oil

 

Shale oil

If oil is trapped in shale with very find particles, it is called "tight oil", or "shale oil". The rock containing it is called "kerogen" To release the oil it must be heated. This is done by mining and heating in retorts, or in situ by partially burning it underground. The heat will drive out the oil. 
The oil then needs to he hydro-treated before it can be used as feedstock in refineries. Shale oil has impurities such as nitrogen, sulfur, and arsenic and this makes it unsuitable as a fuel. The impurities are removed and the fuel upgraded by treating with hydrogen via a catalyst.
The main current use for oil shale is in Estonia where the shale is burnt in power plants to generate electricity.
Shale oil was mined in the Wolgan and Capertee valleys west of Sydney Australia from about 1900 till 1940s. They tried in situ processing but were stopped by the unions for fear of losing jobs. All jobs were lost when the mine then closed down.

Australia Oil-Shale Deposits

The "demonstrated" oil-shale resources of Australia total 57 billion tons, from which about 3 billion tons of oil  is recoverable. This would produce 1.4 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere if burnt.
Wolgan Valley early 1900s
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Oil shale deposits