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Fact Sheet 2012–3145

In-Place Oil Shale Resources Examined by Grade in the Major Basins of the Green River Formation, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming

By Justin E. Birdwell, Tracey J. Mercier, Ronald C. Johnson, and Michael E. Brownfield

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (17.6 MB)Abstract

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a total of 4.285 trillion barrels of oil in-place in the oil shale of the three principal basins of the Eocene Green River Formation. Using oil shale cutoffs of potentially viable (15 gallons per ton) and high grade (25 gallons per ton), it is estimated that between 353 billion and 1.146 trillion barrels of the in-place resource have a high potential for development.

First posted February 7, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Central Energy Resources Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, MS-939
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046

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Suggested citation:

Birdwell, J.E., Mercier, T.J., Johnson, R.C., and Brownfield, M.E., 2013, In-place oil shale resources examined by grade in the major basins of the Green River Formation, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3145, 4 p., available at




References Cited

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