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AceHandRe: Oil Bearing Shales
That's a good idea of getting a sample. Rather than a collage or university, there's gotta be several oilfield geologists up there. I still think a sample from down deeper would be better, and run a poor boys drill stem test while you're there.
kringle_miningRe: Oil Bearing Shales
good one ambre heheh
That was some spot on sharp advice Muley
A surface geologic map of your area might have the shale formation on it of which you are testing

Molybdintite will put a scheen in the water like that as will graphite.
As muley mentioned the smell was an important physical feature.

Also shale cake may be a uranium oportunity.
aumbreRe: Oil Bearing Shales
Load up some in a retort/ still, apply heat and put the distilate in your Mercedes.
bedrockerRe: Oil Bearing Shales
Hi Guys.......thanks for the help..I do not have a picture but I will take on and post it...as far as drilling a hole and letting it fill up.....not that kind amounts...and since I had heard of frac'ing...I assume they are pumping some kind of chemical into the fractured rock to liberate the oils...I will try the sniff test and the match idea...although I do not even think the match would do anything......just a fun thing to explore...that is what I like about prospecting....sometimes you end up going in a new dirrection....thanks guys...I will post pics and smell test soon...Rich
MuleyRe: Oil Bearing Shales
The discovery well for the Kern River field was a hand dug water well by a farming family, that was back in the late 1800's, That feild went on to be the biggest producer of heavy crude in the USA for many years making over 100,000
barrels a day. In fact I have been alot of work on some of the wells were drilled in the late 1870's aand they are still making about 40 bbl's of oil a day over 100 years later.

First test is the smell test, Break a piece of and smell it, Petor carbons have a very distint smell. One other simple test is too take a piece of freshly broken shale and hold a match to it and see if it burns, be sure that you are holding it with a pair of pliers, the shale won't burn, but you maght see a few sparks from it.

If that proves out then take a fresh sample in a air tight plastic bag to a local college or University and find the geology dept and ask the professor to check it of where to send it to have it checked.


P.S. My day job is drilling Oil and Gas wells.
AceHandRe: Oil Bearing Shales
Howdy Bedrocker,
I too would like to see a picture if you have one. Hopefully you aren't prospecting where someone was dumping their used motor oil a few years back, lol. I doubt if the oil shale is profitable, but I'm no expert and could be very wrong. The simple test would be to dig down and see if the hole fills with oil and how rapidly. I'd love to hear of a real live Jed Klampet story! There is a hand dug oil well in Newcastle, WY. It's just a tourist trap now and never made a lot of oil in it's day, but it's an oil shale well. The modern wells around here are making 200+- bbls. a day. They achive this by horizontal drilling the shale to achive a few hundred feet of pay zone as opposed to the 5' to 25' of pay zone in a vertical well. Also needed is an improved fracturing process that opens up the formation to allow oil to flow into the well. A well so close to the surface could not take the fracturing pressure, but then it would probably not need it anyway since it wouldn't be compressed so severely that shallow.
For a serious test, a hole needs to be dug or drilled into the shale. If it's drilled, just attach a weight onto a tape measure and run it to the bottom. You can then see how much oil comes in and judge your next step from there. It would only take a couple, three bbls. a day to be worth your effort on a hand dug well!
Good Luck,
kringle_miningRe: Oil Bearing Shales
Can you post a picture of this shale?
bedrockerOil Bearing Shales
Hi Guys...more help requested...while prospecting we crushed some shales....there was a clear skim of oil in the pan from these crushed shales....it was not from a new pan or a contaminated pan...it is clearly from the shale...with so much in the news about OIL BEARING SHALE...I am wondering if anyone knows of simple test that would help determine if there is a suffcient amount of oil to be on any interest...thanks guys...Rich

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