The Estonian Museum of Natural History opens a display introducing oil shale

22. June 2016

From 21 June an exhibition „458 million years of Estonian oil shale. 100 years of mining“ is open in the courtyard of the Estonian Museum of Natural History. The exhibition that was made together with Eesti Energia gives a brief overview of the formation, discovery, exploration, mining and processing of oil shale.

This year marks 100 years from the beginning of industrial oil shale mining, but the oil shale layers date back entire 458 million years. The curator of the exhibition, geologist Sander Olo says that alongside of the mining of oil shale, it is important to look at formation process: “It is admirable that the formation begun hundred millions of years ago, when the Estonian areas were located at the same latitude as South-Africa today.”

How does the formation process of oil shale look like and where it is found, how oil shale and its possible ways to use was discovered in Estonia and when the more thorough exploration started – the exhibition gives a brief overview of it all.

“Centuries long experience has taught Estonians to know oil shale to subtleties and to use it as effectively and environment-friendly as ever before. The display gives an overview of how the mining and processing has developed thorough years,” says Hardi Aosaar, the research-geologist of Eesti Energia. Alongside the previous, the display shows how the oil shale mining areas are recultivated and made reusable and what different purposes can oil shale mining residues have, for instance as a soil treatment or an ingredient in producing building materials.

“I would recommend to all who come to see the oil shale display to step inside the geology exhibition as well, “says Olo. “There you can have a broader look at the topic and see, for instance, how the Estonian area has caulked to its nowadays position, what does the geological structure of Estonia look like and what kind of resources, besides oil shale, do we have.”

The exhibition is open in the Estonian Museum of Natural History until 11 August.

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  14. 17. August 2016 Estonian Museum of Natural History is open on 20 August
  15. 16. August 2016 Photo exhibition “Discover the Earth” introduces nearly 500 million years old microfossils
  16. 22. June 2016 The Estonian Museum of Natural History opens a display introducing oil shale
  17. 15. June 2016 Estonian Museum of Natural History is closed on 23 and 24 June
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