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GAO: More research needed on oil shale, water

GAO: More research needed on oil shale, water


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DENVER (AP) -- The investigative arm of Congress says the availability of water could eventually limit the growth of oil shale development in Colorado and Utah.

Oil shale deposits in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming hold an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. Companies are trying to find commercially viable ways to extract it.

The Government Accountability Office says in a report released Monday that oil shale development could have "significant" impacts on water quality and quantity, but more research is needed to determine the effects.

The GAO says up to 12 barrels of water, or about 500 gallons, may be needed to produce a barrel of oil. It urges the Interior Department to coordinate more research.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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