Chevron and Los Alamos National Laboratory Launch Research Project to Unlock Hydrocarbons Trapped in Oil Shale Formations
SAN RAMON, Calif., Sep. 25, 2006 -- Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced the creation of a joint research project to improve the recovery of hydrocarbons trapped in oil shales and slow-flowing oil formations.
The goal of the Chevron-Los Alamos collaboration is to develop an environmentally responsible and commercially viable process to recover crude oil and natural gas from western U.S. oil shales. The joint research and development effort will focus on oil shale formations in the Piceance Basin in Colorado. The work will include reservoir simulation and modeling, as well as experimental validation of new recovery techniques, including a form of in-situ (in-ground) processing that has the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Chevron has applied to participate in the Bureau of Land Management's research, development and demonstration leasing program in the Piceance Basin. Chevron plans to use the 160-acre lease to evaluate the technologies developed through its alliance with Los Alamos, subject both to approval from the bureau and the success of the research program.
Oil shales are sedimentary rocks containing a high proportion of organic matter called kerogen that can be converted into crude oil or natural gas. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the United States holds 2 trillion barrels of oil shale resources, with about 1.5 trillion barrels of those resources located in the western United States, primarily in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
The research project will be conducted under the Strategic Alliance for Energy Solutions launched by Los Alamos and Chevron in 2004. The alliance supports Los Alamos in its mission, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States through scientific and technological innovation. It also supports Chevron's strategy to develop innovative research and educational partnerships within the energy industry.
"Energy security is one of the greatest challenges facing the nation, and developing new sources of energy, including hydrocarbons, is of paramount importance," said Terry Wallace Jr., principal associate director for science, technology and engineering at Los Alamos. "The Chevron-Los Alamos alliance links important efforts in energy security with Chevron's research to develop technologies that can brighten our energy future."
For Chevron, the collaboration with Los Alamos strategically supports the company's goal to develop promising energy technologies that will deliver additional energy supplies. "Today's 'unconventional' energy sources, such as oil shales and other tight formations, will become part of the core energy supplies in the future, and our alliance can play a significant role in unlocking the potential of these resources," said Donald Paul, chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation.
"The alliance with Los Alamos has already led to several breakthroughs in oil and gas technology, including the reduction of ultrahigh casing pressures in deepwater wells and improved well performance," said Mark Puckett, president, Chevron Energy Technology Company. "Oil shale resources offer exciting potential but present significant technological and economic challenges that will be addressed by our alliance. We expect our collaboration with Los Alamos will lead to further advances that will enhance our ability to recover oil reserves in the U.S."
The research and development work by the alliance will be performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., as well as at Chevron's technology center in Houston. Over the past two years, Chevron and Los Alamos have cooperated on a variety of projects and breakthrough technologies, including radio frequency telemetry, advanced sensor technology for the collection and transmission of oil well data, and the mitigation of deepwater ultrahigh casing pressures.
In addition to the alliance with Los Alamos, Chevron is actively engaged in several other innovative partnerships with research and development institutions, universities, government laboratories and industry partners. Los Alamos has an active industry partnering program and has worked over the past five years with more than 250 large and small companies to address national technology challenges.
About Los Alamos
Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov) is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to support NNSA in its mission. Los Alamos develops and applies science and technology to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation and terrorism; and to solve national problems in defense, energy, environment and infrastructure.
Chevron is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 53,000 employees, Chevron conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. For more information, visit Chevron's Web site at www.chevron.com.
Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Some of the items discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements about Chevron's activities. Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "targets," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. The statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are changes in demand for, and prices of, crude oil and natural gas, the results of the research, political events, weather and general economic conditions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Published: September 2006