Oil Shale Symposium Attracts International Experts ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The International Oil Shale Symposium is taking place at Tallinn University of Technology from June 10-13, with around 400 experts mulling over the future of the industry.

Taking place for the fourth time in Estonia, the list of speakers includes Eesti Energia's CEO Sandor Liive, Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts, the International Energy Agency's Didier Houssin and the World Energy Council's Leonhard Birnbaum.

Eesti Energia is hoping oil shale will become the next popular source of energy as the price of crude oil continues to grow.

“Prices remain high - the price of oil is above 100 US dollars per barrel and the global need for energy continues to grow dramatically. Here in Estonia, never has so much been invested in oil shale than in just the past few years. In Estonia, there has been 1 billion euros invested into our domestic oil shale industry,” Liive said during his opening speech today.

The state-owned energy company remained optimistic about its future abroad, with ventures in Utah and Jordan, but faces technological challenges.

“Each oil shale is different and no one has yet succeeded in creating one technology that works perfectly with every oil shale. There is no off-the-shelf solution - we have enough experience to recognize that some steps in our process will need to be changed for other shale,” Liive said.

At odds

Estonia's ministers of economy and environment were at odds over increasing oil shale processing, uudised.err.ee reported.

Parts said the industry's impact on environment has dramatically decreased, opening the door for a potential production increase.

“This gives us the opportunity to discuss whether the current mining limits - 20 tons annually - are appropriate,” Parts said today.

Pentus-Rosimannus said in April that the oil shale industry is responsible for 80 percent Estonia's waste, water usage and CO2 emissions. She said it was unrealistic to increase production.

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