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Queensland Energy Resources (QER) is well advanced with the development of a commercial scale oil shale facility at the Stuart oil shale resource at Yarwin, near Gladstone, on the Central Queensland Coast. The development, that is taking place at the New Fuels Development Centre, located on Landing Road 15 kilometres north of Gladstone, includes a Paraho II (TM)technology demonstration plant.

The Stuart Oil Shale Plant Could Lead the way to a Sustainable oil

Producing Future

Queensland has considerable oil shale resources that have the potential to support the Australian heavy transport industry with its fuel needs for many decades into the future. The successful processing of oil shale at the Paraho technology demonstration plant has now laid the foundation for QER to push ahead with its development of a full scale commercial plant on the Stuart oil shale deposit. A significant amoint of work has already been completed with the development of a commercial scale demonstration plant that has a long term potential to produce between 50 and 70,000 barrels of high quality diesel and aviation fuel a day. The Stuart oil shale deposit has the potential to produce up to one billion barrels of high quality aviation fuel and diesel oil.

Stuart oil Shale Deposit Contains Kerogen

Oil shale is often referred to as 'the rock that burns.' It is an organic rich sedimentary rock that contains kerogen. Kerogen is a waxy organic substance that was originally formed from different forms of animal life, as well as that of algae and vegetation. It consists of paraffin hydrocarbons, that when in a solid state, also consist of nitrogen and sulphur. Kerogen is insoluble in organic solvents such as alcohol or benzine, as well as water. However, when heated and under pressure, the large paraffin molecules of kerogen break down into gas and liquids that closely resemble petroleum. This property allow oil shale to be considered an important source of synthetic crude oil.

Stuart Kerogen Refined to Produce Diesel and Aviation Fuel

The Stuart oil shale resource was formed about 40 million years ago in lakes of fresh water. Total oil shale deposits in Queensland amount to more than 20 million barrels. The industrial process practiced at the Stuart resource produces a crude oil that can be refined to an ultra low sulphur diesel and aviation fuel. This type of crude oil has often been referred to as being shale oil but it should not be confused with 'tight oil,' an oil that has already matured naturally and is accessed when drills penetrate shale. To avoid confusion the type of shale oil being extracted from the Stuart resource is referred to by the International Energy Agency's 2011 World Energy Outlook, as 'kerogen oil.' An oil that is obtained after the mining of oil shale and exposing it to a pressure and heating process in order to produce crude oil.

The Stuart oil shale deposit was discovered in the 1980's by Southern Pacific Petroleum NL (SPP). Most of SPP assets were acquired by QER in 2004. These assets included the Stuart technology demonstration facility at Yarwin.

Queensland Energy Resources have an experienced team of engineers who are drawing on data and experience obtained through the successful trials undertaken at the Paraho technology demonstration facility, to develop a long term oil shale industry in Queensland.

Queensland Energy Resources


Queensland Energy Resources
Level 10, 200 Mary Street
Brisbane, QLD 4001

GPO Box 5214
Brisbane, QLD 4001



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