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Page added on May 31, 2007

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Oil-shale effort focused on tech

Rather than using heat to transform the shale into crude, Chevron plans to saturate the rubble with chemicals to convert it. The method will reduce power needs and production costs, Lestz said last week. Using chemical reactions to get oil from shale also means fewer byproducts such as ash and fewer greenhouse gases, he said.

Shell engineers are burying hundreds of steel rods 2,000 feet underground that will heat the shale to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature at which Teflon melts.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil plans to shoot particles of petroleum coke, a waste byproduct of oil refining, into cracks in the shale. The coke will be electrically charged to create a subterranean hot plate that will cook the shale until it turns into crude. The company declined to discuss the progress of its oil-shale tests.


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