PROTOTYPE OIL SHALE LEASING PROGRAM
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
AREA OIL SHALE OFFICE
JANUARY 15, 1979
FEDERAL PROTOTYPE OIL SHALE PROGRAM
1971 to DATE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
AREA OIL SHALE OFFICE
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO
The history of oil shale from the "beginning" to recent times
has been one of great promise and equally great frustration.
Oil shale was known before the discovery of our Nation's
petroleum deposits and its occurrence is widespread, both
internationally and in this country. The deposits of current
interest occur in the Green River formation of Colorado, Utah
and Wyoming where the resource is estimated to exceed 1.8
The combination of events during the recent past which lead
to the current energy situation, and the current level of oil
shale technology have convinced many that now is the time to
begin the testing of oil shale at a commercial level under a
carefully conceived and controlled program.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to lease in 1968, the
Interior Department officially began efforts through the Oil
Shale Task Force to create the prototype program in 1971.
Those efforts culminated in a six volume Environmental Impact
Statement and the sale of four leases for 449 million dollars
early in 1974.
The current oil shale program is a prototype in all aspects;
in regard to the mineral and its production; in regard to the
type and method of regulation of public resource development,
and in regard to the organization established to supervise
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The program goals stated by the Secretary of the Interior are:
1. To provide a new source of energy to the Nation by
stimulating the development of commercial oil shale
technology by private industry;
2. To insure the environmental integrity of the affected
areas and at the same time develop a full range of
environmental safeguards and restoration techniques
that will be incorporated into the planning of a mature
oil shale industry, should one develop;
3. To permit an equitable return to all parties in the
development of this public resource; and
4. To develop management expertise in the leasing and
supervision of oil shale development in order to provide
the basis for future administrative procedures.
CONSERVATION DIVISION, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
The Conservation Division has two primary functions, (1) the classifica-
tion and evaluation of Federal lands as to their mineral character, and
as to their apparent tract values prior to lease sale; and (2) the
supervision of industry operations incident to the prospecting, devel-
opment, and production of minerals on Federal, Indian, and Naval Petro-
leum Reserve lands. Both functions are concerned with the discovery,
receipt of fair market value, efficient development and conservation of
leasable minerals belonging to the United States, and the preservation
of the environmental quality of those lands affected by mineral operations.
The lease supervision functions include the responsibility for determining
applicable royalty charges and for collecting royalty income on all Federal
and Indian land leases.
Classification and evaluation is carried out by Division Geologists and
Hydraulic Engineers. Supervision of industry operations is carried out
by Division Petroleum and Mining Engineers. Royalty collections are made
by Division professional accountants and accounting clerks.
Division Engineers, Geologists, and Mineral Economists make pre-lease
sale economic evaluations of tracts prior to competitive lease sales of
the Bureau of Land Management. Such values are considered in the
evaluation of bids for acceptance or rejection.
Under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, the
Conservation Division cooperates with the surface administering agencies
in environmental analyses and in the preparation of environmental impact
statements (if required) prior to issuance of leases. After mineral
leases are issued, the Conservation Division assumes the responsibility
for environmental analyses and impact statements covering proposed min-
eral prospecting and development.
The goals of the Conservation Division are:
1. Orderly and timely mineral resource development on
Federal and Indian lands with prevention of waste in
the extraction of these resources.
2. Protection of environmental quality and the achieve-
ment of exemplary practices in operations on Federal
and Indian lands.
3. Return of fair resource value to the public.
4. Impartial application of laws, regulations, and
orders to lease operations.
In order to achieve the goals of the Program and carry out the responsi-
bilities of the Division, the Area Oil Shale Office under the U.S. Geological
Survey, Conservation Division, Central Region was created immediately
following the disbanding of the Oil Shale Task Force.
AREA OIL SHALE OFFICE
This office has the prime responsibility of carrying out the goals set
out by the Secretary for the Federal Prototype Leases. The organization
scheme for the office recognized that maximum participation by other
agencies and the public was one of the Secretary's desires for the
program. Attaining this participation is a tremendous task in view of
the diffusion of expertise needed for the program throughout many
agencies. The Area Oil Shale Office is greatly assisted in this task
by the Oil Shale Environmental Advisory Panel created to advise Department
officials on environmental aspects of the prototype program.
A team approach with coordination on individual tract (Lease) basis
using a management by objectives system, was selected as the most
effective type organization for this program and is illustrated in
Figure 1. The personnel shown on the chart serve both in a regulatory
capacity with regard to lease operations and most importantly in a
coordination/liaison capacity to bring into the program the maximum
amount of outside expertise. These people come from a variety of
different agencies and include, in one case, a person employed by a
sister Interior agency attached to the staff by agreement. To supple-
ment the permanent staff, personnel details have been used from time
to time. Also, contract assistance for specific projects continues to
The management responsibilities of the Area Oil Shale Office in response
to the program goals include:
1. Supervision of lease activities in accord with existing
knowledge which stems from the oil shale lease, and the
applicable laws and Federal Regulations.
2. Reevaluation on a continuous basis of ongoing lease
programs and implementation of changes, as the prototype
program was based on the premise that much would be
learned and that knowledge would be promptly applied.
More than 60 separate approvals or revisions have been
made during the exploration and baseline data phase of
the program, including three revisions of lease
3. Provision of information for future decisions on oil
shale, requiring this office to collect and analyze all
data from the program' and document the results, a task
also necessary for refining operations on the current
4. Continuing development of the management structure and
expertise needed to effectively supervise what is learned,
and implementation of that structure for the current
Specific duties of the Area Oil Shale Office with regard
to each Lease include:
All actions and programs must be approved .
The results of all actions and programs must be
submitted in the form of detailed data and summary
Results from programs and actions must be analyzed
in order to:
— Determine compliance with lease terms
and other applicable laws and regulations.
— Revise ongoing programs to reflect infor-
— Revise Oil Shale Lease Environmental
Stipulations in accordance with information
Results from programs and actions must be distributed to
the public and agencies with interest or statutory
authority in the oil shale program.
Maximum possible input from other interested agencies
and the public must be incorporated into the program.
Figure 2 illustrates some of the interfaces required
during development and revision of these programs.
ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE AND EXPLORATION PROGRAM
Each lessee completed what can only be described as one, if not the most
comprehensive, environmental baseline data collection and exploration
program associated with any mineral development. The environmental assess-
ment activities included evaluation of surface and subsurface hydrology,
air quality and meteorology, plants and animal life, soil productivity,
and archaeology. The leases require that environmental baseline data be
collected for a period of at least two consecutive years, one year of which
must preceed the submission of the Detailed Development Plan. This data
will be used to determine the conditions existing prior to oil shale develop-
ment on the leased lands. Each lessee spent between five and seven million
dollars in the collection of this baseline data. During 1977 each lessee
submitted a final environmental baseline report which presented an analysis
and summary of the two year's data.
After the lessees have compiled comprehensive baseline data on all environ-
mental parameters in their leased area, they are obligated to conduct mon-
itoring programs before, during and subsequent to development operations
and to continue these until the Area Oil Shale Supervisor is satisfied that
all Federal, state and local environmental requirements have been met.
DETAILED DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Before the lessee can commence development operations on the Federal oil
shale leases, the Area Oil Shale Supervisor must approve a Detailed
Development Plan submitted by each lessee. Each lessee has submitted a
Detailed Development Plan and one lessee has submitted a Modification to
their Detailed Development Plan.
What is it ? The lease says in a short paragraph that it is (1) a schedule
of the planning, exploratory, development, production, processing and
reclamation activities to be conducted under this lease, (2) a detailed
description pursuant to the applicable Codes of Federal Regulations of the
procedures to be followed to conform to the environmental criteria and
controls in the lease, and (3) a requirement that the lessee will use all
"due diligence" in the orderly development of the lease' 1 , deoosits to attain
as early as is consistent with compliance wiCh cue provi^^^u or cne lease,
a production rate at least equal to the minimum royalty rate. No operations
will be conducted on the lease except pursuant to an approved plan, and
provision is made for revision of approved plans.
Debate on what the plan should be has varied immensely with most of the
questioning directed toward the level of detail required. In order to
resolve these questions, some form of guidance from this office was
required, and that effort commenced with the MITRE Corporation's work
on contract to the Area Oil Shale Office and ended with a final outline
prepared and distributed by this office. Throughout the preparation of
the outline, all parties were consulted and kept informed in order to
obtain the maximum input, and in view of time constraints, so that the
end product would contain no surprises, and other parties could continue
their planning during the formulation of the outline.
The outline, in addition to providing guidance to others also, and most
importantly, serves as a guide to the Area Oil Shale Office in reviewing
submitted plans for adequacy. As each lease, and operations on each
lease will differ, it is not intended that all plans conform exactly to
the form of the outline. In fact, all are different and will serve to
select the most desirable presentation for any future plans which may be
required from other lessees.
The basic principles incorporated in the outline in addition to lease
1. The plan should give an overall picture from commencement
of operations to final reclamation.
2. The level of detail would vary with time — early actions
can be detailed, long range actions would, of necessity,
3. A most probable path should be traced through available
alternatives for the life of the lease.
4. Alternatives are to be discussed for major actions where
there are alternatives.
5. Environmental impacts and mitigating measures are to be
6. Approved plans could be revised or modified to reflect
knowledge gained under the terms of the lease.
There has never been any doubt that any Detailed Development Plan would be
a complex, lengthy document.
How do we handle it?
In order to define critical problems and paths, a flow chart was developed
with the assistance of the Regional Solicitor's Office, the Oil Shale
Environmental Advisory Panel, and other knowledgeable people.
Figure 3 illustrates the parties involved (lessee, Area Oil Shale Office,
Panel and Public) and the four phases of the effort (preliminary, review,
decision, and resubmission) are also illustrated.
The important principle incorporated in this concept is that all review
will be performed on the lessee submission in order to avoid the recycling
and multiple document problem which would make meeting the time frames
listed in the lease impossible.
Figure 4 illustrates the procedures for review of the DDP modifications,
and Revisions for Tract C-a and C-b.
To maximize the use of the vast amount of data being generated by the
program, an extensive effort has been made to place relevant portions and
summaries in the hands of agencies who have expertise in critical areas.
All data from the program, including summary reports, is submitted to the
Area Oil Shale Office and in turn is provided to interested agencies and
persons. Open file copies are maintained for public inspection in the
Area Oil Shale Office and summary reports are sent to libraries in the
The lease contains a provision which permits the last two of five equal
installments of lease bonus bids to be offset by expenditures related
directly to development of the lease tract. In June of 1975 the Depart-
ment Issued a series of guidelines for the Area Oil Shale Supervisor's
use when considering bonus offsets. It is anticipated that the last two
bonus bid payments for all four leases will be totally offset.
SUMMARY OF PROGRESS
June 29, 1971
The prototype program was announced by Secretary
- A preliminary environmental statement,
program statement and state reports on
oil shale were released.
Informational corehole drilling was
November 2, 1971
The Department requested oil shale lease tract
Twenty individual tracts were nominated .
- Six tracts were selected for leasing - two
each in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on
April 25, 1972.
August 29, 1973
The final environmental statement on the prototype
program was submitted to CEQ.
- Regional impacts of a one million barrel
per day industry.
- Specific impacts from development of the
six selected lease tracts.
Methods of shale oil production including
conventional underground and open pit
mining with surface retorting, and in situ
processing of oil shale.
January- June 1974
Prototype oil shale lease sales were held as follows:
Sales Date Effective Date Bonus Bid
A The Wyoming leases received no bids primarily because
of the restricted resource base.
The bonus bids are payable in five install-
ments, the first three have been paid, the
last two may be offset by development expen-
ditures as an incentive for prompt lease
February 27, 1974
Oil Shale Environmental Advisory Panel (OSEAP) was
established and the first meeting held on April 15
of 1974. The purpose of the Panel is to:
Continue and ensure maximum feasible public
participation in the program.
- Advise Interior officials, particularly the
Area Oil Shale Supervisor and BLM District
Managers, on the environmental aspects of
The Area Oil Shale Office was established within
the Central Region of the Conservation Division,
U.S.G.S., to administer the program and was staffed
as a multidisciplinary organization.
Exploration and environmental baseline data plans
were received for the four prototype tracts.
- These plans were revised and approved with
conditions by October 1974.
December 23, 1975
March- June 1976
- Environmental baseline data collection
commenced in the fall of 1974 and required
two years worth of data which was completed
by the end of 1976.
TOSCO and ARCO withdrew as tract C-b lessees.
Management felt that inflation, economics, and lack
of government incentives made development of the
lease unattractive. Shell and Ashland, the remaining
lessees, continued work toward submittal of a Detailed
Lessees submitted the required Detailed Development
Plans as follows:
C-a March 1976
C-b Febr. 1976
Ua/Ub June 1976
Open pit with indirect heated surface
Underground mining with indirect heated
Underground mining with direct and
indirect heated surface retorting.
March- July 1976
- Over 200 copies of each of these plans and
other reports under the program have been
distributed to OSEAP, interested agencies,
individuals, and libraries.
Lessees apply for a suspension of operations pursuant
to Section 39 of the Mineral Leasing Act and the Oil
Tract C-b lessees applied on March 4, 1976.
- Tract C-a lessees applied on July 2, 1976.
- Lessees of Tracts U-a and U-b applied for a
suspension on July 19, 1976. On September
27, 1976, the lessees withdrew their original
suspension application and submitted a new
August-October 1976 Suspensions of operations were granted for tracts
C-a and C-b in August 1976 and for tracts U-a and
U-b in October 1976 for the following reasons:
- All tracts: Data from the first year
environmental baseline air quality program
showed that natural background amounts of
non-methane hydrocarbons, ozone and partic-
ulates on occasion exceeded National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) . EPA was
consulted on this issue prior to granting
the suspensions. During the period of
suspension, EPA worked on this issue and
further communication took place.
- Tract C-b: The on-tract drilling and rock
mechanics program revealed that rock strength
was considerably less than that assumed from
mines on the basin margins, thereby decreasing
the resource recovery by room and pillar methods
to an unacceptable degree.
- Tract C-a: Open pit development of this tract
was one of the methods for development envisioned
in the environmental statement. The need for
off-tract disposal sites was recognized in the
statement and the Notice of Lease Sale. Sub-
sequent to the sale, the Solicitor determined
that the Department did not have authority to
grant use of off-tract lands. Bills were
introduced in Congress to authorize the use of
November 2, 1976 Shell Oil withdrew as a Tract C-b lessee and the
remaining lessee, Ashland Oil, announced a partner-
ship with Occidental Oil Shale on November 4, 1976,
for the purpose of using Oxy's modified in situ
technology to develop Tract C-b.
December 21, 1976 The Environmental Defense Fund, Colorado Open Space
Council, Friends of the Earth, and Denver Audubon
Society filed suit against the Department of
Interior questioning the authority to grant the
suspension of operations.
- This suit was dismissed based on the
omission of indispensable parties and
March 1, 1977 The Tract C-b lessee submitted a modification to
their development plan, revising the method of
shale oil production from room and pillar mining
with surface retorting to modified in situ methods.
May 18, 1977 The lessees of Tract U-a and U-b filed suit against
the Department of Interior seeking an injunction to
indefinitely suspend the due diligence requirements,
including bonus payments, of the lease until con-
flicts with regard to overlapping mining claims and
state in lieu land selection of the leased areas
- A hearing on a preliminary injunction was
held on June 3, 1977, and continued to June
8, 1977, when the injunction was granted.
May 25, 1977 The Tract C-a lessees submitted a revision of their
development plan revising the method of shale oil
production from open pit mining with surface retorting
to modified in situ methods, with surface retorting
of development rock.
The C-a lessees also submitted an application to
extend suspension of operations beyond the September
1, 1977, expiration date because the issue of base-
line violation of National Ambient Air Quality
Standards had not as yet been resolved.
- The transmittal letter offered to withdraw
the application if the issue was resolved
prior to September 1, 1977.
- The original suspension notice required
lessees to file for an extension, if they
wanted one, 90 days prior to termination.
The lessees of tract C-b did not file by
the cutoff date.
July 5, 1977 John A. Green, Regional Administrator for EPA Region
VIII, sent the Area Oil Shale Supervisor a technical
support document that provided the basis for an
opinion by EPA that the presently measured air quality
concentrations on the oil shale tracts do not pre-
clude the development of the tracts' resources.
- This resolved the air quality issue which
was no longer a valid issue for extending
August 9, 1977 The Assistant Secretary - Energy and Minerals - was
provided with the technical review documents and a
draft approval letter for the C-b DDP prepared by
the Area Oil Shale Office, and asked to concur in
the Mining Supervisor's preliminary determination
that the revised DDP be approved.
August 30, 1977 The Assistant Secretary - Energy and Minerals -
concurred in the approval action and the approval
letter for the modified DDP for modified in situ
development of Tract C-b was formally signed by
the Mining Supervisor and the lessees. The letter
contained 12 specific conditions regarding environ-
mental protection, monitoring, water management,
abandonment, and submission of engineering plans
for lease compliance evaluation prior to implementation .
September 1, 1977 The one year suspension of operations for both C-a
and C-b were terminated and the request for an exten-
sion by C-a was denied.
September 22, 1977 The Assistant Secretary - Energy and Minerals -
concurred in the approval action and the approval
letter for the revised DDP for modified in situ
development of Tract C-a was formally signed by
the Mining Supervisor and the lessees. The letter
contained 7 specific conditions regarding environ-
mental monitoring, final design plans, shale dis-
posal, emission modeling for commercial phase and
submission of engineering plans for lease compliance
prior to implementation .
December 6, 1977 The Environmental Defense Fund, the Colorado Open
Space Council, and Friends of the Earth, Inc.,
filed suit in the United States District Court of
Colorado seeking to enjoin any development of
Tracts C-a and C-b through declaratory judgment
that NEPA requirements had been violated and that
approval of the DDPs and related right-of-ways
should be overturned until a site specific EIS
is prepared and fully processed through NEPA
January 1978 American Mine Service Company, contract for Rio
Blanco Oil Shale Company, started shaft sinking
operations on Tract C-a. The 15-foot diameter
shaft will be sunk to a depth of 971 feet and is
expected to be completed by March 1979. This
first shaft will be the Modular Development Phase
service and production shaft. A ventilation shaft
will be upreamed after completion of the service
and production shaft.
February 1978 A contract was let to Gilbert Corporation, a
subsidiary of Peter Kewitt and Sons, Inc., to
sink four shafts on Tract C-b consisting of a
34-foot diameter service shaft, 29-foot diameter
production shaft, a 15-foot diameter ventilation
and escape shaft, and a 10-foot diameter temporary
off-gas shaft. Shafts will be about 2,000 feet
deep. The two larger shafts will be equipped with
koepe hoists installed in 200 to 300-foot high
concrete headframes and are believed to be the
largest single service and production shafts in
April 1978 Approval subject to audit was given to bonus off-
sets for Tracts C-a and C-b totaling more than
required fourth bonus payments.
August 8, 1978 U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the State
of Utah's claim to over 157,000 acres of in lieu
land selections, including tracts U-a and U-b, in
the Uinta Basin. On September 22, 1978, the
Department of Interior filed a motion for rehearing
before the Tenth Circuit Court. It is not known
whether the issue will be heard by the U.S. Supreme
August 25, 1978 Judge Finesilver, of the U.S. District Court,
issued a summary judgment dismissing the December
6, 1977, suit filed by the Environmental Defense
Fund, Colorado Open Space Council, and Friends of
the Earth. The court held that the 1973 EIS for
the prototype program was sufficient for DDP and
right-of-way approvals, and further held that the
procedures of the AOSO were more than adequate to
fulfill the requirements of NEPA. This summary
judgment has been appealed by the Plaintiffs.
December 15, 1978 Ashland Colorado, Inc., announced that they will
withdraw from tract C-b effective February 14, 1979.
This leaves Occidental Oil Shale Inc. as the sole
lessee. Ashland indicated that withdrawal from the
C-b project was prompted by economic studies that
suggest increased capital and operating costs may
reduce profitability in the face of technical,
political and regulatory uncertainties. This decision
is in keeping with Ashland's corporate policy to
emphasize projects that promise cash flow commensurate
with capital requirements..
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View to east across Mine Service Area of Tract C-a. Hoist House and
headframe over 15-foot Service and Production Shaft in center. Lay-
down yard, supply trailers, and concrete batch plant in foreground.
Future construction of processing facilities in open area beyond shaft,
View to east across Mine Service Area and Blowdown retention ponds.
Runoff water, shaft water, treated sewage effluent and processing
blowdown waters are collected in ponds prior to being either reinjected
or evaporated. Water treatment plant to right and fire water pump
house in foreground.
Two views of headframe over Service
and Production Shaft in Mine Service
Area. This shaft is a 15 - foot
diameter concrete lined shaft with
a final depth of 971 feet. Levels
to develop the in situ retorts will
be developed from this shaft.
Main hoist located in Hoist House for raising and lowering sinking
bucket during shaft sinking. These facilities will also be used as
the permanent hoisting facilities after shaft sinking is finished.
Foundation work for Compressor Building in Mine Service Area north of
Service and Production Shaft. Emergency generator building in background,
Initial raw shale disposal pile from shaft sinking operations. Shale
from mine development during the Modular Development Phase (MDP) will
be piled at this location just east of the Processing Area. The barrels
on top of the pile contain raw shale samples to be sent to various
research groups and laboratories for raw shale leachability, toxicity,
etc. , studies.
View of typical reinjection well installation. Foundation work almost
complete for buildings to provide cold weather protection to well head
View of Corral Gulch water gauging station east of Tract C-a. Note
"V" notch weir for measuring low flows. A concrete structure spans
the entire drainage channel. Automatic equipment measures flow,
temperature, conductivity, and suspended sediment load.
Meteorology - Air Quality collection trailer east of Tract C-a. Auto-
mated equipment measures temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity,
sulfur dioxide concentration, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrogen
sulfide and ozone. The instrument on the tower measures particulate
concentration in the air.
View of revegetation study area. Tract C-a is presently
monitoring revegetation success, plant vigor, and plant
community composition on three revegetation sites. Two
companion plots are on opposite north and south facing
slopes. A third site was established with a layer of
processed shale under a soil cover to determine the
effect of potential leachate on revegetation success.
The Tract C-b lessee, Occidental Oil Shale, Inc. is actively developing
the lease in support of future modified in situ operations on the tract.
An approximately 30-acre mine support area in the northwest portion of
the tract has been brought to final grade and is now the site of inten-
sive development of commercial sized shafts and related mine surface
facilities. Slipformed concrete hoist towers have been completed for
the 34-foot diameter service shaft (177 feet high) and for the 29-foot
diameter production shaft (313 feet high). Sinking operations on both
shafts progressed to about the 70-foot level where sinking was tempor-
arily halted while internal hoist towers and ground-mounted sinking
hoists were being installed. Sinking operations are scheduled to restart
in early January 1979. The 34-foot diameter air inlet tunnel to the
service shaft has been completed. The production shaft will ultimately
be equipped to hoist 66,000 tons per day. Within the mine support area,
temporary administration buildings, a warehouse, generator sets, fuel
and water tankage, powerlines, shops, compressor building, and a per-
manent concrete batch plant have been installed.
North of the mine support area, a 10-acre ancillary mine area has been
brought to grade. Here work is well underway on a 15-foot diameter
ventilation escape shaft and related hoist house, shops, and headframe.
A 10-foot diameter retort off-gas shaft will also be sunk in this area.
Together, these shafts will access the initial modified in situ retorts.
Both on-tract areas are accessible by a recently constructed all-
weather, two-lane paved highway. Daily, nearly 300 workers are bussed
to the site from nearby communities. Housing impacts have been miti-
gated by the lessee in these communities by the construction of front-
end financed dwellings. This labor force will increase to about 400
persons during sinking of the three large diameter shafts.
Production Shaft Tower
Service Shaft Tower
Piceance Creek ¥alley v.
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View toward northwest across Mine Support Area of Tract C-b. Mine
facilities (left to right) consist of temporary water and fuel tanks;
temporary warehouse and generator building; 313-foot high commercial
hoist tower (84' x 46') over 29-foot diameter Production Shaft; silos
for concrete batch plant; 177-foot high commercial hoist tower
(55' x 45') over 34-foot diameter Service Shaft; and compressor and
shop building for use during shaft sinking.
View toward the east across Mine Support Area. Pictured (left to
right) are the commercial Service and Production Shaft concrete
slipformed Hoist Towers. Openings are for equipment access, windows,
and machinery ventilation. Towers will be used with temporary ground-
mounted hoists to sink shafts. Contemporaneous with sinking, towers
will be equipped with permanent internal mounted hoisting equipment,
ore bins, ventialation stacks, and ore load-out facilities.
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View seen from atop 313-foot
high Production Shaft Hoist
Tower toward Service Shaft
Tower . In foreground is
34-foot diameter Air Inlet
Tunnel that connects with
the Service Shaft at a depth
of 150 feet. Building housing
temporary sinking hoists for
to back left of tower,
Hoists and cable drums for use in raising and lowering galloway stage
during sinking of 29-foot diameter Production Shaft. Much larger hoists
will be used to raise and lower equipment and hoist shaft rock during
A ■ IP
View toward north-northwest from atop Production Hoist Tower. Foreground
is part of the laydown yard associated with the Mine Support Area. Ancillary
Mine Area can be seen in upper right of photo. Ridge areas were chained by
the BLM in the late 1960's (prior to leasing of the tract) to enhance range
Looking north across Ancillary Mine Area. Pictured (left to right) are:
hoist house; shop and compressor building; 15-foot diameter Ventilation/
Escape Shaft headframe; laydown yard; and change house. The V/E shaft
together with a 10-foot diameter retort off-gas shaft will be used to
operate initial commercial size modified in situ retorts beneath Tract
C-b. This facility will then be used for auxiliary ventilation and
emergency escape. Piceance Creek Valley is visible in background.
A closer view of the Ancilliary Mine Area and shaft surface facilities
is shown here. The facilities are nearing completion prior to commence-
ment of sinking operations. Cleared area in foreground will be used for
temporary retort off-gas processing, production storage, steam generation,
and mine water treatment facilities.
Buried telephone cable being installed along road between Mine Support
Area and Ancillary Mine Area. Power will be provided initially by on-
tract generator sets and later augmented by a line running south to the
tract from Meeker, Colorado.
Shown here is the 200-foot (60
meter) main meteorology tower
on Tract C-b. Tower is instru-
mented at three levels to gather
air quality/meteorology data in
conjunction with sampling and
recording equipment housed in
trailers in foreground. This
facility will be used to monitor
development related impacts on
air quality and to provide a
basis for continued air dispersion
Pictured here is a small air
trailer along Piceance Creek
north of Tract C-b. By com-
paring data between the valley
site and the above on-tract
station, local flow patterns
within the tract airshed have
been plotted, inversion layers
noted, and dispersion patterns
for emission from on-tract
Tracts U-a and U-b
The White River Shale Project (WRSP) was formed in 1974 to operate the
joint venture development of Tracts U-a and U-b in Utah. WRSP is
responsible to Sunoco Energy Development Company, Sohio Petroleum Company
and Phillips Petroleum Company (lessees) for carrying out the planning
and implementation of development activities. The Utah lessees submitted
the required Detailed Development Plan (DDP) to the Area Oil Shale
Supervisor in June 1976 outlining a proposed underground room-and-pillar
oil shale mine with 100,000 barrel per day oil shale surface retorting
facilities. This DBF was never acted upon because of a suspension of
operations effective November 1, 1976, and a preliminary injunction
effective May 31, 1977.
The Lessees completed two years of environmental baseline monitoring
in January of 1977 and have since been involved in interim (suspension
and injunction) environmental monitoring. This interim environmental
monitoring has been conducted for compliance with the lease and to ful-
fill condition 4 of the Suspension of Operations.
On August 8, 1978, the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
(Denver) ruled in favor of the State of Utah's claim to over 157,000
acres of in lieu land selections, including tracts U-a and U-b, in the
Uinta Basin. This opinion affirmed the earlier U.S. District Court
(Salt Lake City) decision of June 8, 1976. On September 22, 1978, the
DOI filed a Motion of Rehearing before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
If the Tenth Circuit Court decides not to rehear the case, DOI would have
90 days to file a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme
Court decides not to hear the case, a' final decision in this matter could
be made by the middle of 1979. However, if the Supreme Court decides to
hear the case, a final decision would not be reached until October 1980.
This means one to two years before the legal entanglement is cleared and
the ultimate fate of the Utah leases is known.
Prior to the request for rehearing, the A0SS prepared recommendations
and specific information to aid in the decision on whether to go to the
Supreme Court. The AOSO gave two alternatives to the appeal of the U.S.
Court of Appeals decision: (1) develop a cooperative agreement, between
the Department of Interior and State of Utah with respect to supervision
of Tracts U-a and U-b and (2) selection of alternate Federal leases
outside of the area of the State in lieu land selection. Both the
cooperative agreement and alternative Federal leases would permit
accomplishment of the prototype program goals as outlined earlier.
WRSP is not only keeping continuity of the environmental baseline
studies but is researching technologies and performing Union retort
studies in California. The parent companies have signed up for
continuing support of the Paraho work at Anvil Points.
USGS - AREWm-'L SHALE OFFICE
Grand Junction, Colorado
AREA OIL SHALE SUPERVISOR
Peter A. Rutledga
DEPUTY AREA OIL SHALE SUPERVISOR
James W. Hager
'Administrative Officer, Clerk
Marie Wulf, Barbara Dillard
Clerk Steno, Judith Hopper
Clerk Typist, Charlotte Dewey
Clerk Typist, Shar Broadstreet
Engineer, Ed Sandetl
Ed Sandell, Tract Coordinator, C-a
Eric Hoffman, " " C-b
.toger Tucker, " " "Ua.Ub
(Geology) , Eric Hoffman
Geologist, Ray Brady
(Air Quality), Miles
Analyst, Ray Telfer
Jo An Knight
(Wildlife) , Bob
(Reclamation) , Dave
JSF&WS Biologist, Don
*The Administrative Officer and Clerk work under the Regional Administrative
Office for the Western Rocky Mountain Area.
Figure 4 (continued)
SCHEDULE FOR MAJOR
Decision to require further information from lessee prior
Presentation of air quality model to A0S0 by lessee.
Presentation to AOSO of further information required of
the lessee on 3/29/77 and 5/9/77 by the lessee.
Briefing for Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration,
Bureau of Mines, Colorado Division of Mines by the lessee
Briefing for Bureau of Land Management by AOSO and lessee.
Transmittal to State of Colorado of responses to their
comments and additional material to be added to the plan.
Meeting with the State of Colorado to resolve any remaining
points of concern.
Completion of conditions of approval and approval of plan
if issues are resolved satisfactorily.