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The Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research (COSTAR) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) integrates efforts in scientific and engineering research, as well as information management, technical review, education, and communication related to development and production of hydrocarbons from oil shale.
Vision and Purpose
The goal of COSTAR is to advance its status as the world's preeminent organization for integrated oil shale research. COSTAR has assembled an interdisciplinary group of research partners based at several institutions in the U.S. There are two major research objectives: (1) to help develop oil shale resources to enhance global energy supplies; and (2) to minimize the environmental conse-quences of developing oil shale.

COSTAR is headquartered at the Colorado School of Mines within the Geology and Geological Engineering Department. COSTAR also engages research affiliates at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (U. Wisconsin) and Binghamton University (Binghamton U.), and benefits from the resources of the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Lakewood, CO, especially the Core Research Laboratory. CSM draws on existing expertise in engineering (Mechanical, Civil, Chemical, Petroleum, Geological, and Environmental) and science (Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science). The research at COSTAR is industry-driven and science-guided with a portfolio of projects including primarily basic research. COSTAR serves as an integrator, enhancing already widespread interdisciplinary collaboration at CSM.
Functions of COSTAR
The primary function of COSTAR is to conduct research on oil shale deposits, technological approaches to in-situ and ex-situ production, and effects and consequences of the production of shale oil. COSTAR serves as an honest broker, primarily conducting public domain research in areas likely to provide benefit to all potential producers, but also conducting research held as proprietary for a negotiable period of time on topics of particular interest to individual companies, groups of companies, or other private entities. Secondarily, COSTAR provides unbiased information to interested parties about the benefits and opportunities associated with a domestic oil shale industry as well as issues related to technical, environmental and economic risks.
Management of COSTAR
COSTAR is managed by a director who builds and maintains COSTAR and ensures timely and efficient use of funds drawn from corporate, State and Federal government sources. COSTAR has a lean administrative staff to minimize the cost of its coordination role, and is housed in existing CSM buildings. The project portfolio is reviewed and approved by a Center Advisory Board (CAB) of industry and university representatives. CSM's Office of Research Administration ensures compliance with applicable laws governing research, intellectual property rights and technology transfer. Information on these issues is available on request. COSTAR hosts an annual meeting to present progress, provide an opportunity for evaluation of project direction, and enable direct guidance by sponsors. The meetings may serve as exit points for research tasks and projects and launch opportunities for new ones. Sponsors are also welcome to visit Golden any time to discuss the projects.
© COSTAR, Colorado School of Mines 2010