The SALLC group worked on a general review of the industry and the associated history and technologies. The Berkley group focused on some specific technologies and oil shale properties. The combined group along with Ron Stites of SALLC traveled all over western Colorado and eastern Utah visiting oil shale companies, properties and academic groups. The findings were presented at the 35th Oil Shale Symposium in Salt Lake City in October 2015 and summarised in an ebook: Oil Shale: Treasure Trove or Pandora’s Box? During the research it became clear that certain logistical and technological advantages could be applied for some very specific opportunities.
Dragon Shale, LLC, was launched in 2016 to commercialize the business opportunities that were discovered in this research project. One of the greatest challenges in the oil shale industry is the relatively low hydrogen/carbon (H/C) ratio of the native kerogens. This impacts not only the quality and quantity of the oil produced but makes the removal of undesirable contaminants like sulfur, nitrogen and arsenic problematic. Hydrogen and its use in oil shale processes is a key to success. Dragon Shale is developing and testing new processes to produce and use hydrogen to improve yields, quality and remove problematic elements and compounds. Much of this work is being done at SALLC under the direction of Ron Stites.