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Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing Programmatic EIS
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Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary/acronym list

Oil Shale and Tar Sands PEIS Links

Use the links on this page to access resources related to the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

The Web sites listed below provide valuable information relating to the Oil Shale and Tar Sands PEIS.

Agency Links

U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages 261 million surface acres and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate—more land than any other federal agency, most being in the Western states, including Alaska. The BLM sustains the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The BLM is the agency preparing the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic EIS.

BLM Energy Page

The BLM works closely with other federal agencies, state and Tribal governments, local communities, industry, and citizens of the United States to develop dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy from the public lands.


BLM Oil Shale Resources

The BLM Oil Shale Resources Web Site features a map of oil shale deposits in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as a summary of the Federal framework for responsible resource development including timelines and links to sites related to key points in the framework.


Statement by Thomas Lonnie, BLM Assistant Director for Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing on Oil Shale Development Efforts by the Bureau of Land Management.

On April 12, 2005, Thomas Lonnie, Assistant Director for Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, provided testimony at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing on Oil Shale Development Efforts involving the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Lonnie's testimony includes a brief history of oil shale research and developments in the United States, as well as a description of current oil-shale-related activities involving the BLM.


U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Program Oil Shale Site

The USGS has conducted geologic research on oil shale, especially on the extensive Green River deposits of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The USGS is initiating efforts to make oil shale research and information products more accessible to the Public via the Internet.


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Oil Shale Activities

The DOE Fossil Energy program in oil shale focuses on reviewing the potential of oil shale as a strategic resource for liquid fuels. Activities include reviewing the strategic value of oil shale development; public benefits from its development; possible ramifications of failure to develop these resources; and, related public policy issues and options. The program is also involved in characterizing the oil shale resource, assessing oil shale technology, summarizing environmental and regulatory issues, and reviewing tar sand commercialization in Canada as an analog for oil shale development in the United States.

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA)

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), created by Congress in 1977, is a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA provides policy-independent data, forecasts, and analyses to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. The EIA Web site has a glossary of energy-related terms and many other useful reference materials. The EIA Web site also has a list of energy-related links at http://www.eia.doe.gov/links.html.


Other Resources

Strategic Unconventional Fuels Task Force

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) directed the Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels to make recommendations and develop an integrated program to coordinate and accelerate the development of fuels from domestic unconventional fuels resources. The Task Force evaluated the global and domestic oil supply outlook, assessed domestic unconventional fuels resources that could augment supply, analyzed constraints to their development, and crafted an integrated strategy and program plan to expedite development of an unconventional fuels industry.

32nd Oil Shale Symposium

The Colorado School of Mines, along with the Colorado Energy Research Institute, hosted the 32nd Oil Shale Symposium at the Green Center on the Colorado School of Mines Campus. The Symposium took place Oct. 15 through 17, 2012, with an optional field trip.

Oil Shale Development in the United States Prospects and Policy Issues

This report presents an updated assessment of the viability of developing oil shale resources in the United States and related policy issues. The report describes the oil shale resources in the western United States; the suitability, cost, and performance of available technologies for developing the richest of those resources; and the key energy, environmental, land use, and socioeconomic policy issues that need to be addressed by government decision makers in the near future.


Shell Exploration and Production: Athabasca Oil Sands Project

Information about Shell's Athabasca Oil Sands Project. When the Athabasca (Alberta, Canada) Oil Sands Project (AOSP) began production in April 2003 it added around 4% to worldwide oil production. This project produces close to 10% of Canada’s oil needs.


Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Syncrude Canada Ltd. operates the largest oil sands crude oil production facility in the world. Syncrude surface mines oil sand, extracts the raw oil known as bitumen from the sand using water-based processes, and upgrades that bitumen into sweet light crude oil by fluid coking, hydroprocessing, hydrotreating and reblending. The Syncrude Web site contains much valuable information about tar sands (referred to as "oil sands" in Canada. The site includes a process video showing how tar sands are processed to make oil; it also includes photos of the mining and extraction process, facilities, and equipment.


Utah Heavy Oil Program Site

In December of 2005 The University of Utah announced the formation of the Utah Heavy-Oil Program, organized to address issues surrounding the vast resources contained in unconventional oil, including heavy oil, oil sands (tar sands) and oil shale. The Program’s mission is to provide research support to federal and state constituents for addressing the wide-ranging issues surrounding the creation of an industry for oil shale, oil sands and heavy oil production in the United States. The research sponsored by the Program will focus on short-term projects to clarify issues and seek solutions to challenges for managing and utilizing these natural resources.