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foto We, a small part of people who can consider the active research in the field of chemistry and technology of oil shales as the lifework of ours, have stepped together into a new millennium. In the first number of the 17th volume of our journal the results of investigations from different countries can be found. Side by side with the Estonian scientists the colleagues from China, Russia, and Tatarstan also publish the results of their work here. It is also pleasant that the international interest in our journal shows the ever-growing tendency.
Estonia is one of the few countries having more than 80-year experience on mining, investigation and technological processing of oil shales. Our kukersite has still been used as a fuel to produce electrical energy and also cement. A relatively smaller part of mined oil shales is directed into shale oil industry.
However, the latest results of investigations in many countries have been promising. Some acknowledgements to the new direction can be found in the current volume of our journal. Researchers' common efforts being resultful, the number of chemical products produced on the basis of oil shales will increase in the near future.
The Earth's petroleum deposits might be exhausted during the nearest 40-50 years. Due to this the interest in processing of oil shales is ever growing. The Agreement of common investigation of oil shales has been recently signed by Estonia and the USA. This step should incite the governments of other countries to closer investigation of oil shales and shale oils.
We have a good conception of oil shale deposits in Estonia. At the present state of consuming there still will be oil shales left after the global petroleum deposits will be exhausted.
Compared to other reproduced or non-reproduced fuels the specific burning capacity of oil shales is even less than this of timber. Our scientists have elaborated an absolutely unique construction of boiler in which it is possible to burn successfully even such a "capricious" fuel as oil shale. This experience is of great importance for countries that are going to use oil shales as energetic fuel.
I call for developing international co-operation in the field of investigations of oil shales!

Jüri Kann