Estonian company plans Utah oil shale development

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 10
-- After completing the purchase of the shares of Oil Shale Exploration Co. (OSEC), the Estonian company Eesti Energia (Enefit) plans to construct in Utah a plant for producing 57,000 b/d of shale oil.

The stock purchase is pending approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS).

OSEC has been involved in oil shale oil development since 2005 and was awarded by the US Bureau of Land Management the only oil shale research, development, and demonstration lease in Utah.

Also OSEC holds the largest nongovernmentally owned oil shale leases in Utah. Enefit estimates that the leases contain 3.1 billion tons of oil shale resource in place and have a potential from recovering about 2.1 billion bbl of shale oil.

In Estonia, since the 1980s, Enefit produces in two Enefit-140 plants about 1.3 million bbl/year of shale oil. In addition to oil production, Eesti Energia owns in Estonia 2,400-Mw oil shale-fired power plants.

Enefit currently also has under development oil shale projects in Estonia and Jordan.

In Jordan, Enefit's two oil shale projects are in cooperation with YTL Power International (YTLPI) and Near East Investment (NEI). One project includes an oil shale fired power plant of up to 900 Mw and the other is a 38,000 b/d shale oil plant.

Enefit describes its Jordan concession as part of the largest oil shale deposit in Jordan with more than 2 billion tons of oil shale in place and containing about 1 billion bbl of shale oil.

Enefit may also expand its Jordan concession, in which case the total resource would increase to about 4 billion tons of oil shale.

In Estonia, Enefit, through its joint venture with the international engineering company Outotec, has designed and is currently building a new generation shale oil plant, the Enefit-280. The plant will use oil shale mined in Estonia and at full capacity will process 2.3 million tons/year of oil shale to produce 2.1 million bbl/year of shale oil, more than 75 million cu m of high-calorific retort gas for use in power or hydrogen production, and 35 Mw/day of electricity. The generated power will provide all of the plant’s electricity needs, and the surplus will be sold to the local electrical grid.

Enefit said construction of the plant in Estonia is on track and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

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