Laser desorption ionization (LDI) coupled to Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) was used to analyze shale oils. Previous work showed that LDI is a sensitive ionization technique for assessing aromatic nitrogen compounds, and oils generated from Green River Formation oil shales are well-documented as being rich in nitrogen. The data presented here demonstrate that LDI is effective in ionizing high-double-bond-equivalent (DBE) compounds and, therefore, is a suitable method for characterizing compounds with condensed structures. Additionally, LDI generates radical cations and protonated ions concurrently, the distribution of which depends upon the molecular structures and elemental compositions, and the basicity of compounds is closely related to the generation of protonated ions. This study demonstrates that LDI FT-ICR MS is an effective ionization technique for use in the study of shale oils at the molecular level. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that LDI FT-ICR MS has been applied to shale oils.