Oil shale deposits in the Western United States are the most concentrated hydrocarbon resource in the world. Despite the national significance of this resource, the Federal government is currently doing extraordinarily little to encourage the research and development that will be required to produce oil and natural gas from these oil shale deposits in the future. 

Photo: Colorado oil shale beds


Who are We

The National Oil Shale Association (NOSA) is a Colorado non-profit 501 c(6) organization formed to educate and inform the public, elected officials, and government agencies about this large, domestic, undeveloped energy resource that could, if developed, dramatically alter the nation’s energy mix and significantly enhance the economy of certain regions of the United States.

refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel along with other petroleum byproducts

Oil shale rocks contain a solid organic material called kerogen that when heated produces oil that can be refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel along with other petroleum byproducts.  In recent years, the terminology ‘oil shale’ has also been used for particular rock formations that contain conventional petroleum that can be recovered using directional drilling and fracturing techniques.  This web site deals only with kerogen-rich oil shale deposits. 

Oil Shale Development Process, Rifle, CO
Oil Shale Development Process, Rifle, CO


Today a few pioneering companies are working on technologies that will someday demonstrate to the public that this oil shale rock can be processed economically to yield commercial quantities of oil and gas and that this can be done in an environmentally responsible manner.

This new domestic energy industry will create thousands of high-paying, long-term jobs, and generate taxes and royalties to benefit local communities, as well as the federal and state governments. It is NOSA’s mission to assist these forward-looking companies by providing information about oil shale, including the size of the resource, and how it can be processed to produce transportation fuels and a vast spectrum of petroleum by-products.

This NOSA website introduces you to the nation’s important oil shale resource. It is intended to serve as a foundation for those wanting to know more about oil shale and its potential significance to the United States. Information provided herein is believed to be factual. It has been prepared by professional engineers and scientists who have worked on oil shale for many decades and who have volunteered their time to get this oil shale message to the public.

Photo: Typical oil shale rock, Utah