BLM issues draft plan for oil shale development

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DENVER (AP) -- Federal land managers have proposed allocating nearly 2 million acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming for potential commercial oil shale development.

The Bureau of Land Management released the proposal on Thursday and will take public comment for 90 days before issuing a final plan.

Federal officials and industry experts estimate that up to 1.8 trillion barrels of oil is trapped in the region's oil shale, or three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. Of that, roughly 800 billion barrels is considered recoverable.

The technology to free the oil is still evolving, and commercial production is thought to be several years away.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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