Nick Gavrilov, in a letter to the editor, questioned a statement that I made in an earlier article in The Herald-Mail. I said that we (the U.S.) are sitting on an ocean of oil. He asked where this ocean of oil is. That's a reasonable question. The answer is, this oil is located in various oil-shale formations inside the lower 48 states.
We have known about oil shale for more than 50 years. Until recently, however, it was unavailable for extraction at a reasonable cost per barrel.
The major oil companies have spent millions of dollars researching extraction techniques that would make it possible to exploit shale oil. For years, this research seemed futile.
However, extraction technology has been developed that permits shale oil to be pumped for $30 per barrel. To understand the potential of shale oil, there is more oil in shale, in the United States, than in all the other proven reserves in the world put together.