Clean & Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale & Oil Sands Resources
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About Oil Shale and Oil Sands Program

The mission of the Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources Program at the University of Utah is to pursue research that improves industry's ability to utilize the vast energy stored in domestic oil shale and oil sands resources in a manner that minimizes environmental impact from production. This research includes technical challenges such as energy efficient processing, proper characterization of the source material, and predictive geologic models as well as societal issues such as environmental impacts, water consumption, land use, and economics. The Program's research is interdisciplinary in nature and involve researchers from multiple departments and colleges at the University of Utah.

The project has overarching objectives as outlined in the three research areas below:

  1. The objective of this research area is to produce the research and simulation tools needed to assess liquid fuel production, upgrading, and refining from oil shale and oil sands, and specifically to produce basin/regional scale simulation tools with predictive capability for evaluating the potential for unconventional resource development given a range of environmental and economic constraints.

  2. This research area applies science, engineering, and technology research tools developed within the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy to a wide variety of in-situ processes for recovering liquid fuel from oil shale and oil sands resources.

  3. There are two main objectives in this research. The first objective is to explore and identify gaps in the environmental, legal and policy framework for implementation of in-situ thermal processing technologies for oil shale and oil sands on public and private lands. The second objective is to perform an economic and policy evaluation of domestic oil shale and oil sands development. This objective includes the publication of a report entitled "A Market Assessment of Oil Sands and Oil Shale Resources in Utah."

2013 University of Utah Unconventional Fuels Conference

Presentations are now available for download in the conference archive.