Declining domestic oil production and rising U.S. demand for oil increase the nation’s dependence on imports of foreign oil. This growing import dependence represents challenges to the strategic interests of the United States, particularly as global conventional oil production may soon fall short of global demand. Significant opportunities exist for producing fuels from the nation’s vast unconventional resources, including: oil shale and tar sands, heavy oil, enhanced oil recovery, and coal-derived liquids. Domestic production of fuels from unconventional resources could reduce import dependence and the potential impacts and strategic risks posed by global oil supply and demand trends.
The Strategic Unconventional Fuels Task Force was established by the Secretary of Energy in response to the provisions of Section 369(h) (5)(A) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 [PL 109-58].
The purpose of this website is to provide a source of information to the public about the Task Force, its mission, and its progress in fulfilling that mission, as set out in the Energy Policy Act.
Major Task Force Findings
"The Nation is substantially at risk, from an economic and security perspective, to warrant development of an unconventional fuels program with attendant policies and government actions to promote and accelerate industry development."
"Responsible development of America’s oil shale, tar sands, heavy oil, coal, and oil resources amenable [to] CO2 EOR … encouraged by government actions to reduce uncertainties and stimulate investment, could supply ...upwards of 7 million barrels of...liquid fuels...by 2035."
"The challenges to domestic unconventional fuels development are significant, but not insurmountable.”An unconventional fuels production rate of 7 million barrels per day would (year 2030 of the Task Force’s "Accelerated Case") would:
- Reduce crude oil and product imports by 7 million barrels per day, or 39% of total 2030 imports, as forecast by the Energy Information Agency (2006).
- Reduce the cost of importing oil by $133 billion per year.
- Provide more than 114,000 direct petroleum sector jobs and 260,000 total jobs.
- Generate over $29 billion per year in Federal and State royalty revenues.
- Contribute more than $1,300 billion* to the U.S. gross domestic product cumulatively over 25 years.
Read the Task Force’s Reports
Please go to the Task Force Reports link (under Publications above) to review or download the full text of the Task Force’s Initial Report, Strategy and Program Plan, and Annual Reports.