Estonian shale oil company acquires shale interests in Utah

With the recent approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Eesti Energia (internationally known as Enefit) of Estonia has purchased a 100% interest in Oil Shale Exploration Company (OSEC) of Alabama, which has significant oil shale interests in Utah.

The next step is for Enefit to complete its own feasibility study and drilling works involving Estonian geologists and enterprises. Enefit also starts to prepare environmental impact assessment and continue with the development of Enefit technology and adapting it to the oil shale in Utah.

Enefit’s project in Utah is supported by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert:

Oil shale has the potential to be one of our nation’s greatest untapped natural resources, and the Uintah Basin here in Utah has potentially millions of barrels of recoverable oil. In Enefit, we have a company which has the technology, commitment, history, and financing to try and bring that oil shale to market.”

The project development phase is estimated to take 4 years followed by a construction period of 3-4 years.

Enefit has control over 3.1 billion tons of oil shale in place containing nearly 2.1 billion barrels of shale oil in Utah. Similar to its approach in Jordan (earlier post), the US project will not be funded by regulated businesses and Enefit would look to acquire a strategic partner in the development phase.

Enefit has more than 30 years of ongoing operational experience in the commercial production of shale oil, with facilities located in Narva, Estonia. With the acquisition of OSEC, Enefit will focus on developing its oil shale projects in Estonia, Jordan and in the US. Enefit will be the developer of both international projects and provider of the Enefit-technology for the shale oil producing plant. In other oil shale countries Eesti Energia would concentrate on technology sales.

At present, the company mines approximately 15-17 million tons of oil shale and produces 1.3 million barrels of shale oil annually.

OSEC is an oil shale exploration and development company which was awarded the only oil shale research, development, and demonstration lease in Utah and, which owns the largest non-governmentally owned oil shale resources in the state.


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