Posted by Big Gav in shale oil
FastCompany has a look at a new axis of evil forming in Colorado, looking to exploit shale oil - Boogeymen Trifecta: Murdoch Allies With Oil Company, Cheney.
Rupert Murdoch is one of the world's best known media barons and may or may not be a bud to Steve Jobs. But as hype swelled around his iPad digital project, The Daily, Murdoch was also investing in an Israeli-American oil shale company with ties to Dick Cheney. Can his legendary business savvy help out an upstart oil firm?
Oil shale may be the answer to worries about peak oil, but it is highly expensive to extract and has a high ecological cost.
Lord Jacob Rothschild and Murdoch just purchased a joint 5.5% stake in Genie Oil and Gas Inc., a division of the IDT Corporation. The equity stake purchase by Murdoch and Rothschild is worth approximately $11 million. Genie is a new face in the energy market; the company just launched this summer.
Murdoch is slated to join Genie's advisory board. Other members include:
* American Shale Oil CTO Alan K. Burnham
* Former Vice President Dick Cheney
* Genie chairman and Midland, Texas mayor Wes Perry
* Former Exxon Mobil executive vice president Eugene A. Renna
* Allan Sass, former president and CEO of Occidental Oil Shale
* Hedge fund investor and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt
* Stephen M. Trauber of UBS Investment Bank
* Harold Vinegar, former chief scientist at Royal Dutch/Shell
American Shale Oil is a joint venture between IDT and French firm Total S.A.
Public statements by both Genie and their investors have stressed the firm's American and Israeli (read: non-Arab, non-Iranian, non-Venezuelan) roots. According to a statement by Murdoch, “I believe Genie Energy's technologies and vast shale oil licenses have real potential to spur a global, geo-political paradigm shift by moving a major portion of new oil production to America, Israel, and other western-oriented democracies.” Murdoch also said that “Covering and distributing news has been my life's work […] If Genie's effort to develop shale oil is successful, as I believe it will be, then the news we'll report in the coming decades will reflect a more prosperous, more democratic, and more secure world.”
Perry was even more explicit, stating that “Both America and Israel have significant shale oil reserves. It’s difficult to overstate their potential to improve our respective economies and national security. […] Genie Energy is developing the technologies America and Israel want to make rapid progress toward energy independence, while IDT Energy is poised for continued growth in the consumer market. I’m very excited to work with their management team to help meet the energy needs of the U.S. and Israel for decades to come.”
Genie is currently working on two oil shale exploration projects in the United States and Israel.
In Colorado, Genie is involved in American Shale Oil's extraction testing project in Colorado's Green River Formation. The Green River Formation is the largest oil shale deposit in the world and is believed to contain anywhere between 1.2 and 1.8 trillion barrels of oil. Much of the oil is currently inaccessible; however, even the currently accessible amount of 800 billion barrels in Green River exceeds Saudi Arabia's explored oil reserves. American Shale Oil is one of four companies that was given a tender to develop the Green River Formation; the firm's portion of Green River is believed to contain 10 billion barrels of oil.