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    China Business
     Apr 5, 2006
Jilin, Shell to develop oil shale resources

CHANGCHUN - China's Jilin Guangzheng Mining Company, Shell Jilin Energy Holding Company and Shell (China) Company recently set up a joint venture to develop oil-shale resources at the Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

The new company, Jilin Shell Oil-shale Development Company, has been approved by China's Ministry of Commerce. Shell will

hold a 61% stake in the venture, while Jilin Guangzheng will hold the remaining 39%.

It has been revealed that the new company is now making preparations for oil shale exploration for its first two years of operation, and its long-term target is to realize the commercial development of oil shale resources, and produce clean and qualified fuels and other energy and chemical products.

Oil shale is a general term applied to a group of fine black to dark brown shales rich enough in organic material (called kerogen) to yield petroleum upon distillation. The kerogen in oil shale can be converted to oil through the chemical process of pyrolysis. During pyrolysis the oil shale is heated to 450-500 degrees Celsius in the absence of air and the kerogen is converted to oil and separated out, a process called "retorting". Oil shale has also been burnt directly as a low-grade fuel.

The United States Office of Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves estimates the world supply of oil shale at 1.6 trillion barrels of which 1-1.2 trillion barrels are in the United States. This is comparable to the amount of remaining conventional oil reserves. Estonia, Russia, Brazil, and China currently mine oil shale, however, production has been declining due to economic and environmental factors.

(Asia Pulse/XIC)



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