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Full text of "Federal prototype oil shale program : 1971 to date"

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PROTOTYPE OIL SHALE LEASING PROGRAM 




DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 
AREA OIL SHALE OFFICE 




JANUARY 15, 1979 






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FEDERAL PROTOTYPE OIL SHALE PROGRAM 

1971 to DATE 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 
AREA OIL SHALE OFFICE 
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO 

Background 



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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 
trillion barrels. 

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 
the program. 



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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. 



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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 



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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 
be used. 

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 
environmental stipulations. 

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 
leases. 

4. Continuing development of the management structure and 
expertise needed to effectively supervise what is learned, 
and implementation of that structure for the current 
program. 

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 
reports . 

Results from programs and actions must be analyzed 
in order to: 



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— Determine compliance with lease terms 

and other applicable laws and regulations. 

— Revise ongoing programs to reflect infor- 
mation gathered. 

— Revise Oil Shale Lease Environmental 
Stipulations in accordance with information 
gathered. 

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. 



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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 
requirements were: 

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, 
be conceptual. 



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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 
succinctly described. 

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. 



DATA DISTRIBUTION 



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 
region. 



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BONUS OFFSETS 



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 
Morton. 



- A preliminary environmental statement, 
program statement and state reports on 
oil shale were released. 

Informational corehole drilling was 
authorized. 



November 2, 1971 



The Department requested oil shale lease tract 
nominations. 



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. 



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January- June 1974 



Lease 



Prototype oil shale lease sales were held as follows: 
Sales Date Effective Date Bonus Bid 



C-a 


1/8/74 


3/1/74 


$210,305,600 


C-b 


2/12/74 


4/1/74 


117,788,000 


U-a 


3/12/74 


6/1/74 


75,596,800 


U-b 


4/9/74 


6/1/74 


45,107,200 


W-a 


5/14/74 


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W-b 


6/11/74 


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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 
development . 



February 27, 1974 



June 1974 



May-August 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 program. 

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. 



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December 23, 1975 



March- June 1976 



Tract 



- 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 
Development Plan. 

Lessees submitted the required Detailed Development 
Plans as follows: 



Date 



C-a March 1976 



C-b Febr. 1976 



Ua/Ub June 1976 



Development Methods 

Open pit with indirect heated surface 
retorting. 

Underground mining with indirect heated 
surface retorting. 

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 
Shale Lease. 

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 
application. 

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: 



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- 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 
off-tract lands. 

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 
improper jurisdiction. 




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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 
were resolved. 

- 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 
the suspension. 



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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 
procedures. 

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 




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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 
this country. 

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 
Court. 

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. 



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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. 



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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. 



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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. 



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Foundation work for Compressor Building in Mine Service Area north of 
Service and Production Shaft. Emergency generator building in background, 



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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. 



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View of typical reinjection well installation. Foundation work almost 
complete for buildings to provide cold weather protection to well head 
equipment. 



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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. 



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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. 



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Tract C-b 



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. 



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# 




9 



Production Shaft Tower 



Service Shaft Tower 



Piceance Creek ¥alley v. 



KiiSiSilB* 




lArea 



:.■■ 




■ ; '": : - : v. ?■.<■.■:* 



Office 
Eaciliti< 

fjemporarv 
:. .-honRA.:. 

temporary 1 



BSilfiffi: 



wwHA^rMwamamm 






> breckpils 




■■; : ;: ; .:v.-'.-f>. : 



, Xopsoil 



Temporary 
Generator Bldg 



\, 



Concrete 
Plant 



I 





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. 



26 



4 



I 




,'AV- ■■■' -t* 3, ^'.. ■ '■. ' '« 

. : '■ ■ - r ■'JMtdfc' - >„• "*■ 




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 



JCi-LV-L^^ OiiCL-i 






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 
sinking. 



27 



I 



tf 





a^^iJeg^r^^^ 



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 
forage production. 




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. 



28 



tf 




to 



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. 



# 



1 



* 




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 
modeling. 




Pictured here is a small air 
quality/meteorology sampling 
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 
facilities modeled. 



30 



* 



D 



» 




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. 



31 



1 




* 




USGS - AREWm-'L SHALE OFFICE 
Grand Junction, Colorado 



* 



AREA OIL SHALE SUPERVISOR 
Peter A. Rutledga 



SECRETARY 
Phyllis Baldwin 



DEPUTY AREA OIL SHALE SUPERVISOR 
James W. Hager 



ADMINISTRATION 
'Administrative Officer, Clerk 
Marie Wulf, Barbara Dillard 
Clerk Steno, Judith Hopper 
Clerk Typist, Charlotte Dewey 
Clerk Typist, Shar Broadstreet 



EXTRACTION 
Supervisory Mining 

Engineer, Ed Sandetl 
Mining Engineer, 

Terry Roylance 



PROCESSING 
Chemical Engineer, 
Larry Barker 



Ed Sandell, Tract Coordinator, C-a 
Eric Hoffman, " " C-b 
.toger Tucker, " " "Ua.Ub 



HYDROLOGY 
Supervisory Hydrologist, 
Glen Miller 



GEOLOGY 
Environmental Specialist 

(Geology) , Eric Hoffman 
Geologist, Ray Brady 



ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES 
Meteorologist, Roger 

Tucker 
Environmental Specialis 

(Air Quality), Miles 

LaHue 



SYSTEMS ANALYSIS 
Computer Systems 

Analyst, Ray Telfer 
Computer Specialist, 

Jo An Knight 



ZL 



BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 
Environmental Specialist 

(Wildlife) , Bob 

Elder kin 
Environmental Scientist 

(Reclamation) , Dave 

Oberwager 
biological Technician, 

Chuck Joy 
JSF&WS Biologist, Don 

Don Dietz 



POSITIONS: 
USGS 21 
USFWS 1 



*The Administrative Officer and Clerk work under the Regional Administrative 
Office for the Western Rocky Mountain Area. 



FIGURE 1 



n 




tf 



% 



Figure 4 (continued) 

SCHEDULE FOR MAJOR 

DDP MODIFICATIONS 

TRACT C-b 



ITEM 10 

3/29/77 

and 

5/9/77 



6/3/77 
6/17/77 

6/21/77 

6/22/77 
6/24/77 

7/8/77 

7/15/77 



Decision to require further information from lessee prior 
to approval. 

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 
and AOSO. 

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. 



36 



^ 



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