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Production (current): 
0 barrels per day
Production (projected): 
45,000 barrels per day
Deposits (in place): 
35.00 billion barrels

The plot:

In the past decade Mongolia has undergone one of the most dramatic shifts of any nation-state on the planet. An incredibly rapid influx of major mining operations have begun across Mongolia, including some of the largest copper and gold mining operations on the earth. With perhaps the most intact nomadic cultures and economies on the planet, in just the last few years the landscape of Mongolia has seen the introduction of breakneck pace-built resource extraction. This drive to mine everything in sight has included coal shipments to China and now looks to include one of the larger oil shale deposits on the planet. Technology to be employed in oil shale kerogen extraction is not commercially used anywhere; environmental assessments of new industries (now including oil shale) have been stated as grossly insufficient. Social impacts are not undertaken.

The details:

Multiple deposits across the country. 35 bn estimated in-place.

Factory and upgrading facilities (petro-chemical by-products, etc) to also be constructed; preliminary goals are of approximately 45 000 bpd. In-situ technology alongside a mine to be applied. The petroleum authority of Mongolia has approved the license and exploration permit for Genie Energy; TOTAL of France is also involved.

Mine and factory to be constructed likely in area over 34000 sq. km in Central (Inner) Mongolia.

No prior development for the shale resource. Chinese involvement-- including CNPC and Sinopec-- has involved exploration but not as yet development.

Major mining projects-- including but not limited to coal, gold, copper and uranium-- have threatened both the traditional lifestyles of Mongols and the still mostly pristine countryside of the least inhabited nation-state on the entire planet.

The pace of the boom has made it such that traditional life is both far more precarious and economics are not favourable to herders and other traditional peoples who live with the land. Oil shale proposals for the Central part of the country have little environmental oversight and take place in the context of the over-all rush for resources.

The corporations Genie (American with heavy Israeli involvement) and TOTAL (of France, who tandem with Brazil's Petrobras in many kerogen shale plays globally) are both promoting development prototypes that have not been past the pilot stage anywhere. The two other main locales of this form of “in-situ” extraction proposals are in Colorado's Green River Formation (the largest form of potential oil deposit on the earth) and near Jerusalem in the Shefla Basin (also known as the Elah Valley). Mongolia's extremely pro-industry current government may allow Mongolian territory to effectively be a laboratory for Israeli and US plans for kerogen extraction-- an in-situ type that would be the worst energy consumer/carbon emitter of all oil plans on the globe (minus coal to liquids).

Articles about Mongolia

Apr 9, 2013
Oil shale: Solution to Mongolia’s imported fuel dependency? By B.Khash-Erdene April 9, 2013 It is estimated that Mongolia has and 800 billion tons of oil shale reserves. But this number was...
Apr 21, 2013
Mongolia signs oil shale feasibility agreement HOUSTON 04/19/2013 Oil and Gas Journal editors Genie Energy Ltd., Newark, NJ, said its Mongolian subsidiary signed an exclusive agreement to explore...
Apr 23, 2013
Genie Energy signs oil shale development agreement with PAM By B.Khash-Erdene Mongol News, April 23, 2013 Genie Energy said in a press release on Friday that its subsidiary, Genie Oil Shale Mongolia...
May 26, 2013
Mongolia's Oil Shale Future   By Jon Carter Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 Mongolia is ready to join the oil shale fray. Genie Energy’s (NYSE:GNE) subsidiary Genie Oil Shale Mongolia...
Jun 12, 2013
    Colonialism, Mining and Oil Shale: Don't Let the Genie Out of the Bottle Mongolia, Canada, Israel & the United States by MACDONALD STAINSBY June 12, 2013 Ulan Bator: When you...
Sep 5, 2013
Mongolia Joins Shale Revolution, But at What Cost? The Diplomat September 05, 2013 By Michelle Tolson Oil shale exploration is quietly getting underway. But questions surround viability and...
Oct 22, 2013
Every coin has two sides UB Post October 13, 2013 By B.Khash-Erdene Mongolia has always been dependent on foreigners for fuel and petroleum goods. Although considerable deposits of oil have been...
Oct 22, 2013
Energy Hits New Rocks in Mongolia By Michelle Tolson   TOV PROVINCE, Mongolia , Oct 10 2013 (IPS) - Mongolia, 90 percent dependent on fuel imports from Russia and vulnerable to price hikes, is...
Jan 7, 2014
Mongolia reports substantial oil shale resources    business New Europe December 9, 2013 Mongolia has over 700bn tonnes of oil shale resources, according to research from the mining...
Jan 28, 2014
Mongolia explores oil shale for energy security By Paulius Kuncinas Regional Editor, Oxford Business Group UB Post Extensive oil shale reserves could reduce Mongolia’s dependence on...