Who are we?

Dragon Shale grew out of a research project initiated by Ettanet and Stites and Associates.

The genesis of Dragon Shale lay in the coming together of two companies Ettanet, LLC and Stites and Associates, LLC (SALLC). Both had carried out technology development projects with other oil shale companies and, their interest peaked decided to combine efforts and do a more extensive study of the entire industry.  The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore provided six chemical engineering students from their prestigious renaissance program.  The project focused on oil shale technology evaluation and business development.  Two of the interns were assigned to SALLC in Denver, Colorado with the remaining four assigned to Ettanet and based out of the University of California, Berkley.

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.

Stites & Associates, LLC

Ron Stites is the founder of Stites & Associates, LLC, (SALLC) a company that focuses on technology evaluation and improvement.  He is a chemist and an MBA in finance and accounting.  He has five US patents in gasification and catalysis with several more pending in carbon capture and electrochemistry.  He is an expert on pilot plant trials and design of experiments.  He has applied these techniques in the evaluation of oil shale technologies as applied to the US oil shale industry.

Ettanet, LLC

Ettanet was founded by O. J. Schneider, a chemical engineer and former director of OSIsoft and UOP with years of experience.  He brings to Dragon Shale training and experience in downstream oil processing, business evaluation, design and startup of new and improved operations.  He has applied his expertise to improve plant performance, profitability and environmental compliance.