What is Oil Shale?

Created by:
Justin Luckner & Mathew Edwards
ES 351 Intro to Geospatial Analysis
May 4, 2012

ES 351 Syllabus

    Oil Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that contains a high amount of organics in it. The organic in oil shale is Kerogen. Kerogen is a mixture of organic compounds found in some sedimetary rocks. When heated properly Kerogen can turned into products such as crude oil. Kerogen is solid, and is insoluble by natural organic solvents.
    Because of the kerogen in oil shale it burns naturally. In some cases it has been used as a low grade energy source by being simply burnt. The most common use of oil shale though is through refinement to obtain shale oil. 


Oil Shale vs. Shale Oil

    Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains a high amount of kerogen. Shale oil is the oil, similar to crude oil, that kerogen can be converted to. Shale oil reserves in the ground were heated naturally by geothermal sources, thus converting kerogen in oil shale to shale oil.