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NOSA Luncheon Meeting – August 28, 2019

The National Oil Shale Association will hold a luncheon meeting for all members and invited guests on August 28, 2019 at noon at the Quarry Steak House in Vernal, Utah where an update of NOSA activities will be presented. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Uintah Basin Energy Summit August 28 – 29 at the Uintah Conference Center.

NOSA Board Meets at Anvil Points

Members of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Shale Association met either in person or via phone hookup on May 23rd. The meeting was hosted by Justin Bilyeu at the Shale Technology International Services office at Anvil Points, Colorado during a pouring rainstorm that at times nearly obscured the view of the company’s pilot plant outside the meeting room window. Routine business of the Association was led by President Ed Cooley. Executive Director Gary Aho reported on the actions of the organization including sending letters to Federal agency heads seeking support to form an Advisory Board to revisit the provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that encouraged the development of oil shale but has not been acted upon by subsequent Administrations. The Board decided to participate in the Uintah Basin Energy Summit in Vernal, Utah on August 30th and host a lunch for members and invited guests. The three Directors that attended the Board Meeting in person reluctantly agreed to the picture below (from left to right, Chuck Whiteman, Justin Bilyeu and Ed Cooley).

The Directors of the National Oil Shale Association met in Vernal, Utah on March 12, 2019. Ron Stites, a Director of NOSA, hosted the meeting at Dragon Shale, the site of his experimental oil shale facility. After the meeting, Ron hosted a lunch for the Vernal Chamber of Commerce and NOSA members where Dragon Shale staff briefed the assembled group on the unique technology being developed by Dragon Shale.

NOSA Board Meets in Meeker, CO

The NOSA Board of Directors met at the New Fire and Police Meeting Room in Meeker, Colorado on January 15, 2019. Rio Blanco Commissioner Si Woodruff sat in on the meeting where the organization’s plans and challenges were discussed, including future water availability for oil shale projects. The Board appreciates the hospitality shown by the Commissioner and the good people of Meeker. The next NOSA Board Meeting is scheduled to be in Vernal, Utah at the Dragon Shale offices on March 12, 2019.

NOSA Announces 2019 Leadership Changes

2019 Board of Directors

Ed Cooley (Chairman), ERTL Inc., Rifle, CO
Adolph Lechtenberger, Red Leaf Resources, Salt Lake City, UT
Justin Bilyeu, Shale Tech International Services, Rifle, CO
Isak Stolen, Wheeler Machinery, Salt Lake City, UT
Chuck Whiteman, TerraCarta Energy Resources, Meeker, CO
Ron Stites, Dragon Shale, Denver, CO
Roger Day (Immediate Past Chairman), Independent Consultant, Rifle, CO
Glenn Vawter, ATP Services, Glenwood Springs, CO (Honorary Director)

The Board has appointed the following officers for 2019:
Gary Aho, Sage Geotech, Rifle, CO is the Executive Director
Deena Stanley, Shale Tech International Services, Rifle, CO is the Secretary/Treasurer
Glenn Vawter, ATP Services, LLC is Associate Executive Director

An oil shale action plan for the 21st century

Public discussion of oil shale development in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming has been on the back burner for some time. Many of us are old enough to remember Black Sunday — the day in 1982 when Exxon shut down the Colony Oil Shale Project. No one wants a return to that boom and bust era.

But many of us believe oil shale in the three states is a resource that should be developed to help make the nation energy secure for decades.

The National Oil Shale Association (NOSA) proposed a plan of action at a Congressional Field Hearing in Grand Junction on June 1. Congressmen Bishop of Utah and Tipton of Colorado led the delegation that heard testimony from oil shale and natural gas experts.

NOSA recommended Congress and the Federal Administration include the oil shale in the three states in the nation’s strategic energy plans and approve the formation of an advisory board to recommend how best to develop the vast resource for the benefit of local economies and the nation.

NOSA members believe the building of small demonstration plants is the responsible next step in the development of the resource.

There are many differences in what is being proposed now than what was going on in the 1970s and ’80s. At that time, there was a large federal government program advocating accelerated commercial production of shale oil. The nation had experienced an OPEC oil embargo, and people were forced to wait in lines for gasoline at service stations across the nation. President Carter and Congress reacted by providing financial incentives to companies for production of domestic unconventional fuels.

Oil and gas and mining firms rushed to Colorado and Utah to try to meet the challenge and take advantage of the federal program. Unfortunately, at the height of the euphoria, oil prices dropped from about $40 to near $10 per barrel, the government lost interest, and the boom ended.

The community of Battlement Mesa was built with private funding to accommodate thousands of workers and their families that were expected to be needed for a commercial industry only to become a ghost town until it became a retirement mecca. Communities in the area were left with improved infrastructure, but a reduced tax base to support it. Jobs were lost, and real estate prices tanked.

The recovery to normalcy took a decade.

During the ensuing years there was little interest in oil shale, but small oil companies in Texas began to use precision directional drilling and selective fracturing (now called fracking by adversaries of its use) to get oil and gas from oil reservoirs thought to be uneconomic.

As a result, the nation is on track to become the largest oil producer in the world. Unfortunately, for the long term, oil production decline is very fast for fractured unconventional reservoirs, and the cheap oil from those reservoirs has already been produced. So the nation will still need oil shale as a long-term domestic, nondeclining supply of oil to fuel its military and civilian transportation needs.

NOSA is waiting for Congressional action on its recommendations.

— Glenn Vawter – National Oil Shale Association


June 6, 2018

On June 1, 2018, the National Oil Shale Association was one of seven parties to testify before a U. S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals. The title of the hearing was “Natural Gas and Oil Shale of the Piceance Basin” and it was held at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado. Representing the Subcommittee were Chairman Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO).

Gary Aho, NOSA’s Executive Director, represented the Association. He presented key points from NOSA’s 2017 White Paper that called on Congress to follow through on the findings of the Task Force on Unconventional Fuels which issued its final report in 2007 as mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

NOSA put forth a “call to action’ in regard to oil shale. Key points included the following:
Oil shale is an important domestic resource with over 70% located on Federal lands in CO, UT and WY. This is believed to be the largest, single, untapped hydrocarbon resource in the world
This oil shale resource could meet a critical part of the Nation’s petroleum and chemical needs for well over 100 years
Oil shale development will create thousands of high-paying, long-term jobs
Oil shale development will generate billions of dollars in tax and royalty revenues to the Federal, State and local governments
Oil shale development will result in improved national and economic security for the U.S. and reduce strategic dependence on foreign oil
Oil shale can become the National Strategic Oil Shale Reserve (NSOSR), replacing much of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that now exists

NOSA then presented the following recommendations to Congress:

The current Administration should include oil shale in its “all-of-the-above” National Energy Policy
The BLM should designate certain oil shale areas as Strategic, such that they are off limits to conventional oil and gas drilling. The shale oil per acre far exceeds the value of any gas that might be produced from that acreage.
Congress should revisit the 2005 Energy Policy Act mandates, which are still part of the law
Congress should establish an Oil Shale Advisory Board to review the 2007 Task Force Report and update it to include recommendations appropriate for these times and the current domestic oil production scenario
Oil Shale Advisory Board members would include representatives from the Departments of Energy, Defense, and Interior, EPA, industry and state and local governments
NOSA would be engaged to Chair the Oil Shale Advisory Board and work with the Board to produce a Final Report with recommendations to Congress within 9 months
NOSA, a non-profit, would receive a Federal grant of $250,000 to direct the efforts of the Advisory Board, organize meetings, and produce the Final Report

NOSA is a not-for-profit educational association that puts forth factual information on oil shale and the benefits the nation will receive from developing this bountiful natural resource. The Association membership includes companies, individual and nonprofit organizations Contact information is:

Gary D. Aho
Executive Director
National Oil Shale Association
P.O. Box 411, Rifle, Co 81650