Looks like the oil-party isn’t over just yet.
Short version: a new method to extract “unconventional oil” in oil shale and similar formations using microwaves to heat it is being explored. It uses much less water, and will be usable in places where fracking might not be for various reasons. To put it in perspective:
If producers can find a way to microwave oil shales in the Green River Formation, which sprawls across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, the nation’s recoverable reserves could soar andenergy independence could become more than an election slogan. Even with existing methods — strip-mining the shale and then cooking it, or injecting steam to cook the rock underground (hydraulic fracturing is useless here) — the formation contains enough oil to last the U.S. 165 years at current rates of consumption. Microwave extraction could goose those numbers even higher. After all, there are more than 4 trillion (with a “t”) barrels of oil in the Green River Formation.
Yeah. Looks like we might manage to muddle through on that whole energy thing. Especially considering we might soon have nuclear frikkin’ batteries.