AuthorColorado School of Mines
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AbstractForeword: With all that has been accomplished in the State or Colorado from the results of mining operations, agricultural development, and the sugar beet industry, there looms a new frontier, great in opportunity, in the vast oil shale deposits of western Colorado. During the past decade, government, state, and commercial agencies have demonstrated that in a district of about two thousand square miles, known as the De Beque-Grand Valley district, there exists a potential resource from which oils and other hydrocarbon products may be produced in quantities to create a most important auxiliary supply to the petroleum industry of this country. Conservative estimates give the amount of oil which may be produced from these shales as being equal to about three times the estimated underground oil pools known throughout the world. To realize such statistics, one has only to survey the various canyons resulting from erosion of the beds of this great inland sea leaving cliffs standing fifteen hundred to twenty-five hundred feet above the valley floors. The horizontal stratified layers of shale may be traced for miles with sites available for treatment plants and within convenient distance from the Colorado River which is destined to be the great oil shale center. The United States government has recognized the great importance of this resource by creating a Naval Oil Reserve of about 63,000 acres in the vicinity of Parachute creek and an initial appropriation of $90,000.00 is now available and Government representatives are already in the field completing arrangements for the erection of an experimental plant for the development of efficient and practical operations. Large investments have been made by commercial organizations in perfecting titles and conducting investigations to determine the most efficient technique and equipment. A great amount of research has been conducted by Government agencies, state bureaus, and commercial organizations and a great variety of mechanical equipment constructed proving that several systems of treatment are available for operation on a commercial scale. In the development of its mining and metallurgical operations, Colorado has engineering and administrative talent which is competent to meet the problems and practice of this great industry to be developed from this resource of the oil shales. The Denver Chamber of Commerce realizes the economic possibilities in this resource of oil shales and has created a committee composed of engineering and commercial representatives with experience in such an industry. The steadily increasing demand for oils and other hydrocarbon products makes necessary the development of a great auxiliary supply for the petroleum industry, and the source of such supply is found in the vast oil shale deposits of the west. One of the greatest opportunities of the age lies before us in our own State of Colorado and it is time to apply ourselves to the task. FRANK E. SHEPARD, Chairman, Oil Shale Committee of the Denver Chamber of Commerce.
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