Petrobras to study oil shale development in Utah

Brazil's Petrobras reported signing an agreement with Oil Shale Exploration Co. and Japan's Mitsui & Co. to jointly conduct a study into the development of oil shale projects in Utah.

Jun 9th, 2008

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, June 9 -- Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) reported signing an agreement with Oil Shale Exploration Co. LLC (OSEC), Mobile, Ala., and Japanese investment and trading company Mitsui & Co. Ltd. to jointly conduct a study into the development of oil shale projects in Utah.

"Petrobras will undertake a technical, economic, and environmental commercial feasibility study testing its oil shale technology called Petrosix on mineral resources controlled by OSEC in Utah," Petrobras said. Petrobras said along with Mitsui it obtained the right to acquire a 10% to 20% stake in the OSEC project.

The Petrosix oil shale processing technology is a proprietary retort technology, developed by Petrobras.

"The OSEC oil shale project in the state of Utah encompasses the lease of a oil shale property from the Bureau of Land Management for oil shale research, development, and demonstration and the recent purchase of more than 22,000 acres of privately owned oil shale property in the Green River Basin of Utah," said Petrobras.

"The combined lease and owned property provides OSEC with ownership or rights to more than 30,000 acres of oil shale property, with a discovered resource base in the range of 3 billion bbl, according to Norwest Corporation estimates," it said.

In June 2007 the US Department of the Interior issued a research, development, and demonstration lease to OSEC for 160 acres of public land in eastern Utah. An analysis determined that the project would have no significant environmental impacts (OGJ Online, June 16, 2007).

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