What is it about?

ABSTRACT: Oil shale is an organic-rich, fine-grained sedimentary rock, containing kerogen, from which liquid hydrocarbons (called shale oil) can be produced. The oil shale deposits in the Tigray region are found in the northern parts of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa. They are of Upper Paleozoic in age, existing as remnants of the Cretaceous erosion period, underlain by tillites and overlain by sandstones. They were formed during the glacial retreat followed by marine deposition of shales in a basin created by the enormous load of the glaciers. The Ethiopian-Tigray oil shale deposits cover an area extending over approximately 30 km 2 , with an average mineable bed-thickness of 55 m, showing on the upper part inter-beds and laminations of shaley limestones. The oil shale resources in this region are estimated to be approximately 4 billion tonnes. FOR CITATIONS: Yohannes Yihdego, Hilmi S. Salem, Bediaku G. Kafui & Zarko Veljkovic (2018): Economic geology value of oil shale deposits: Ethiopia (Tigray) and Jordan, Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 40(17): 2079-2096 Taylor & Francis. Published Online: 9 July 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15567036.2018.1488015 and https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15567036.2018.1488015 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326274780_Economic_geology_value_of_oil_shale_deposits_Ethiopia_Tigray_and_Jordan

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Why is it important?

This paper is important because it investigates the oil shale deposits and their shale oil reserves in both of Ethiopia and Jordan, compared with oil shales in other countries such as the USA. Based on the fact that both countries (Ethiopia and Jordan) are poor in oil and natural gas, oil shale for them constitutes an important national natural resource, though its exploitation needs advanced technologies and large amounts of water, and it is also highly polluting to the environment.


This paper is very important to, among others, geologists, engineers, miners, economists, industrialists, environmentalists, policy- and strategy-makers in both Ethiopia and Jordan, and worldwide as well. This paper may put the foundations for the exploitation of this natural resource (oil shale), especially in Ethiopia, while jordan has already made some progress in generating shale oil from oil shale.

Prof. Dr. Hilmi S. Salem

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This page is a summary of: Economic geology value of oil shale deposits: Ethiopia (Tigray) and Jordan, Energy Sources Part A Recovery Utilization and Environmental Effects, July 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/15567036.2018.1488015.
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