Geophysical Monitoring of In-Situ Oil Shale Retorting
US oil shale reserves contain a vast carbon energy source which if produced in an economically feasible and environmentally safe manner - would provide part of the solution for future US energy needs. While no commercial production of oil shales currently occurs, in situ retorting is generally regarded as the most likely approach. Optimal and environmentally safe in situ retorting will require knowledge and understanding of the retort related processes. Currently no feasible technologies exist which allow direct volumetric monitoring of complex retort processes. As temperature is a major driver and control on such processes the knowledge of spatiotemporal variability in temperature would be of substantial value in the effort to understand processes. Under this proposal Sky Research in collaboration with Idaho National Laboratory scientists will demonstrate the feasibility of a methodology to obtain oil shale retorting temperatures from geophysical data. If this proposal is successful, it would lead to commercial methods for spatiotemporal subsurface temperature monitoring. Such methods would provide part of the needed solution for oil shale retorting and make retorting both commercially and environmentally more feasible
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