Oil Shales: A Kerogen-Rich Sediment with Potential Economic Value

  • Bernard P. Tissot
  • Dietrich H. Welte


The first mention of the oil shale industry goes back to the seventeenth century, when a British Patent no. 330 was issued in 1694 to Martin Eale, who “found out a way to extract and make great quantities of pitch, tar and oil out of a sort of rock” (Cane, 1967). The first industrial plant was developed in Autun, France in 1838, followed by another exploitation in Scotland, 1850. Since then many countries developed an oil shale industry: Australia (1865), Brazil (1881), New Zealand (1900), Switzerland (1915), Sweden (1921), Estonia (now USSR) (1921), Spain (1922), China (1929), South Africa (1935). The highest point of the development was reached during or immediately after World War II.


Cloud Point Source Rock Black Shale Botryococcus Braunii Petroleum Source Rock 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard P. Tissot
    • 1
  • Dietrich H. Welte
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut Francais du Pétrole and Ecole Nationale Supérieure du PétroleRueilFrance
  2. 2.Institut für Erdöl und Organische GeochemieKernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  3. 3.Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische HochschuleAachenGermany

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