Exxon Mobil (XOM) Is Granted Colorado R&D Lease From Bureau of Land Management

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Exxon Mobil (XOM) has been granted approval by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to begin oil shale research and development projects in Colorado.

The tentative approvals are for research, demonstration and development leases on federal land in Rio Blanco County. This is the oil company's second attempt to extract petroleum from the oil shale in the region after it shuttered its Colony project in Colorado in 1982, costing the state 2,000 jobs in the process. The project still needs to be reviewed by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety before it receives final approval. 

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Exxon Mobil is proposing a development project that requires the heating of the oil shale underground and then the pumping out of that oil. The process is different from the Colony project which involved surface mining and heating of the oil shale.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Chevron  (CVX) hold leases for development on the land in the area but both have already ended their oil shale projects.

Exxon Mobil was up 0.6% to $94 on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings team rates EXXON MOBIL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate EXXON MOBIL CORP (XOM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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