Feds’ offer of new oil shale leases net 3 takers | VailDaily.com

Feds’ offer of new oil shale leases net 3 takers

DENVER – Low interest in the latest round of federal leases to develop ways to tap the Rockies’ vast oil shale reserves is being pinned on new requirements.

Three companies applied for 160-acre leases on federal land in Colorado and Utah. The companies are ExxonMobil Corp., Arizona-based AuraSource Inc. and Colorado-based Natural Soda Inc.

Twenty companies applied for leases in the first round. Six were awarded in 2007.

Glenn Vawter of the National Oil Shale Association says another sticking point for companies was the reduction in size of associated commercial leases.

The first-round leases can potentially be converted to 5,100-acre commercial parcels. The associated commercial piece in the new leases would be 640 acres.

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