The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday approved oil shale research, development and demonstration leases for ExxonMobil Exploration Co. and Natural Soda Holdings Inc. in Rio Blanco County in western Colorado. The decision is subject to a 30-day appeal period.
They leases were approved with measures to protect sensitive resources including water.
The leases are part of a second round awarded for oil shale research. A half dozen leases were awarded in Utah and Colorado in 2007 in the first round.
Oil shale contains kerogen that must be heated to extremely high temperatures before it produces oil.
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