Oil companies still pursuing shale research despite new royalty rates

The federal government’s new oil shale leasing royalty structure and the downward-spiraling economy apparently aren’t having an impact the plans of three major oil companies conducting research in Colorado’s Piceance Basin.

According to the Glenwood Post Independent, royalty rates of 5 percent announced in November have not dampened the enthusiasm of Shell, Chevron and American Shale Oil to find a way to squeeze black gold from the rocks and sand of the Western Slope.

The companies are moving forward with research and exploration despite not getting their wish of lower royalties “that would be more conducive to get a start-up industry off the ground.”

On the other hand, Sen. Ken Salazar, who previously helped legislate a one-year ban on commercial oil-shale leasing that expired in September, said the Bureau of Land Management’s new royalty rates and leasing regs “sell Colorado short.”

That could be bad news for the nascent and highly speculative industry, because Salazar has reportedly accepted an offer from President-elect Barack Obama to serve as the next secretary of the interior.

Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.

About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>