Shell builds oil shale arena near Meeker

Circular facility uses technique called freeze-wall extraction

DENNIS WEBB/The Daily Sentinel
PIPE WORK about an acre in size has been built at a Shell experimental oil shale project southwest of Meeker. An ammonia refrigerant injected by a circular set-up of pipes creates an underground wall, which prevents contamination of groundwater outside the barrier. Groundwater is removed inside the barrier, where oil shale is heated and kerogen and natural gas are brought to the surface.



100308 4A project

DENNIS WEBB/The Daily Sentinel
PIPE WORK about an acre in size has been built at a Shell experimental oil shale project southwest of Meeker. An ammonia refrigerant injected by a circular set-up of pipes creates an underground wall, which prevents contamination of groundwater outside the barrier. Groundwater is removed inside the barrier, where oil shale is heated and kerogen and natural gas are brought to the surface.

In a remote valley southwest of Meeker, a tangle of pipes surrounds a parcel much like a fence corrals a rodeo arena. The pipes’ purpose is to create an underground corral that provides…




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