Global Resources

Red Leaf Resources seeks to unlock oil reserves in oil shale with the smallest environmental impact of any competing oil shale process.

While oil shale has been a known source of energy for centuries, its commercial development has been limited. Today, only three countries have commercial oil shale production–Brazil, China, and Estonia. 

Not having other natural resources like coal or natural gas available for power generation, Estonia has used oil shale for electricity generation for over 100 years. While they have always produced liquids as a by-product, the Estonians are currently increasing the proportion of liquid fuels they are producing as part of their power generation operations. Estonia produces approximately 6,300 barrels per day, with the goal of doubling that production with a new retort facility. 

In China, like Estonia, oil shale is burned for electricity production. The Chinese also use oil shale to develop petrochemical products and cement. 

Brazil uses their oil shale primarily for liquid fuel production, generating approximately 3,800 barrels per day. The Chinese only produce about 7,600 barrels per day.

Green River Formation

Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 18 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, the recoverable oil from the Green River Formation would last for more than 400 years.

“The Green River Formation – an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming – contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil. About half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions.

As you can imagine, having the technology to develop this vast energy resource will lead to a number of important socioeconomic benefits, including the creation of jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty payments for federal and state governments.”  

– Testimony of Anu Mittal, Director of Natural Resources, U.S. General Accounting Office


Utah & the Uinta Basin

Utah is an energy state and one of the few that can claim to be a net exporter of energy. In addition to vast coal reserves, geothermal deposits, and other natural resources found across the state, the Uinta Basin of eastern Utah is oil and gas country – which includes oil sands and oil shale. 

Uinta Basin Oil Shale

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Uinta Basin section of the Green River Formation contains up to 1.32 trillion barrels of oil shale. At least 77 billion barrels are estimated to be recoverable when considering all constraints. While most of the oil shale deposits in Utah are on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property, the Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) has strategically assembled contiguous blocks of oil shale, including the 17,000 acres under lease by Red Leaf. 

(Source: USGS; Governor’s 10 Year Strategic Energy Plan)

Utah Energy Facts

• Utah ranks 11th in the U.S. in crude oil production and 9th in gross natural gas production.

• Utah ranks 8th in the U.S. in crude oil proven reserves with approximately 400 million barrels, and 9th in natural gas proven reserves with approximately 8 trillion cubic feet.

• Utah has approximately 3,600 producing oil wells and 6,100 producing natural gas well.

(Source: Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining)

Uinta Basin Energy Facts:

• 89% of the oil and gas wells drilled in Utah in 2012 were drilled in the Uinta Basin. 

 75% of all oil produced in Utah came from the Uinta Basin.

 67% of all gas produced in Utah came from the Uinta Basin.

 93% of Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) were for the Uinta Basin.

 90% of APDs in the last five years were for the Uinta Basin.

 The production sales value of oil and gas produced in the Uinta Basin over last five years totaled over $20 billion. 

(Source: Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining)