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Oil shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock that yields oil rapidly when heated to about 500°C by a reaction known as pyrolysis. Raw shale oil can be used directly as fuel oil or upgraded to more valuable transportation fuels with additional processing. Interest in oil shale has waxed and waned over the decades with the price of oil. Unfortunately, lessons learned and know how are often lost during periods of relatively cheap conventional oil.

Engineering Services   

PROCOM retains significant expertise in the oil shale processing and oil refining sectors with direct experience in the design, commissioning and operation of oil shale facilities utilising a range of processing technologies. We stay up-to-date with oil shale developments in countries such as the USA, Estonia, China, Jordan and Australia.

The PROCOM team has experience with most current oil shale retorting technologies including ATP, Galoter, Paraho and Chinese vertical retorts. Our engineers also have a wealth of experience in determining the level of oil upgrading required to meet market demands. We are able to provide valuable technical information on oil quality and processability.

Process Modelling

Due to the various uncertainties in the oil shale retorting technologies, one important way to better understand the processes is by using advanced process modelling tools. PROCOM is experienced with creating computer-based models to evaluate the technology, and assisting in technology scale up. Our engineers possess unique know-how for characterising oil shale properties and reactions for modelling oil shale processes.

Field Support Services

PROCOM managers led the development of the Stuart Oil Shale Project from pilot plant studies to commissioning and operations. The 6,000 tpd demonstration plant in Gladstone produced in excess of 1.5 million barrels of oil, including 8,000,00 barrels of ultra-low sulphur naphtha which was sold to Australian refiners.

PROCOM personnel have had over 40 years of collective experience of process development from laboratory to demonstration plant scale on processes, including solid heat carrier and vertical retorting technology. Most small scale units can be made to work, however the difficulty comes in scaling to commercial size. Our experienced team have been involved in many plants and have learnt how to shorten the development process by application of lessons learnt. We are capable of supporting our clients through conceptual to pilot plant stages, and performing supervisory roles during construction, commissioning and operations phases.

We welcome you to contact us to discuss your project requirements.


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