What is oil shale?


Oil shale is a kind of rock that contains kerogen, a waxy substance that gives off liquid when heated.  Not all oil comes from oil wells that bring oil up from underground pools.

Much of the world’s supply of oil is  found in a kind of rocks formed of tightly packed clay, mud and slit.   This rocks is called oil shale.

Actually, this shale does not contain oil. It contains “kerogen” a  waxy material which, when heated, gives off a liquid  oil.

To get the oil from the kerogen in the oil shale, the shale “ore” is mined and crushed.   Then  it is heated  in a furnace called  a retort. One  ton  of oil  shale  may  yield from  10  to 50- or-more gallons  of  crude oil.

When it  has been  refined, the oil can be separated  into gasoline and  other petroleum products, just as oil from  oil  from oil wells  is separated.

Shale oil is not widely used because it  is expensive to make.   But as the world ‘s supply of oil diminishes, oil shale may someday provide an important source of oil for all of our machinery. – Dick Rogers

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