Coober Pedy (Australia)
- Immense Shale Oil Reserves Discovered!
February 22, 2013 [...]
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Immense reserves of shale oil have been found in Southern Australia, in the Coober Pedy area. Experts believe that up to 233 billion barrels of oil could be extracted from the ground. If the find is proven right, the Coober Pedy oil reserves will almost reach the total amount of Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves.
The approximate worth of this oil in Australian dollars would be about 20 trillion.
The Coober Pedy shale oil reserves are between 1-2 km deep in the ground.
The minimum amount of oil believed to be found deep in the ground is of at least 3.5 billion barrels. Even this minimum is worth roughly 360 million Australian dollars.
As a comparison, let's see the proven oil reserves of some other countries: Venezuela: 211-297 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia 265-267 billion barrels, Canada 173-175 billion barrels, Iran 151-154 billion barrels, Iraq 115-143 billion barrels, Kuwait 103-111 billion barrels, Russia 60-116 billion barrels and the USA only has about 20 billion barrels in the ground, which is quite the same as the amount that China has.
And these figures reflect conventional oil reserves, remember!
(Extracting from shale requires special technology and it's generally more costly)
Until this discovery, the small town of Coober Pedy was primarily known for its opal mines (it's also known as "The Opal Capital of the World") and underground cave-homes that attract a vast number of visitors.
From precious stone mining, the desert town might turn into an oil extraction hotspot.
Of course, this is shale oil. The technology to extract it differs significantly from the one used for conventional oil extraction.
Shale oil reserves are generally extracted from rock. Normally the shale oil is not liquid and needs to be "liquefied" following the crashing of specific rock types.
Simply said: oil drops are found in rock as well. It is possible this extract oil from the rocks, but with more effort and newer technology.
If the finds prove a substantial reserve, then Australia could become an exporter of oil (currently being an importer, not having enough reserves to cover domestic requirements).