A Technical, Economic, and Legal Assessment of North American Heavy Oil, Oil Sands, and Oil Shale Resources
An assessment prepared by the Utah Heavy Oil Program, Institute for Clean and Secure Energy, the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy
In response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), Section 369(p), the recently completed assessment, A Technical, Economic, and Legal Assessment of North American Heavy Oil, Oil Sands, and Oil Shale Resources, examines the challenges to North American heavy oil, oil sands, and oil shale resources.
Domestic tar sands resources in place are estimated to be 54 billion barrels. Estimates of U.S. heavy oil resources in place range from 60 to 100 billion barrels, of which 2 billion barrels, are proved reserves and another 20 billion barrels could be ultimately recoverable. A multi-state and federal agency Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels including the Department of Energy, under Section 369(h) of EPACT, also recently completed a study on unconventional fuels that shows that America's oil shale resource exceeds 2 trillion barrels. Depending upon technology and economics, as much as 800 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be recoverable. The study also found that, while the United States has vast unconventional fossil energy resources that could be produced and converted to liquid fuels, these resources differ in region by quality and composition and in readiness for commercial production.