Shell seeks Yampa water for oil shale production |

Shell seeks Yampa water for oil shale production

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Shell Oil has filed for the first major water right on the Yampa River in northwest Colorado for its oil shale development plans.

Shell applied Dec. 30 in state Water Court to use about 8 percent of the Yampa’s peak spring flow.

Shell spokesman Tracy Boyd says the water would be shipped to a reservoir for later use in oil shale production.

Critics say extracting oil from shale will use too much of the West’s scarce water. Some estimates say it could take up to three barrels of water to produce a single barrel of oil.

Shell says it believes its process, still in the experimental stages, will be more efficient.

Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are thought to hold 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil locked in shale.

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