Representatives of the State of Utah, USA, familiarize themselves with Estonia's oil shale industry

A four-member delegation from the State of Utah commenced a week-long visit to Estonia, during which they will visit Eesti Energia's (internationally called Enefit) production companies and discuss matters related to the establishment of an oil shale industry in the State of Utah. Enefit controls the largest contiguous oil shale reserves in the state of Utah, in Uintah county.

The delegation includes Senator of the Utah State Senate Kevin Van Tassell, Uintah County Commissioners Mike McKee and Mark Raymond, and Executive Director of Uintah County Economic Development Tammie Lucero.

In addition to visiting companies belonging to Enefit, meetings are planned with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, in the US Embassy in Tallinn, with local government officials in Ida-Viru County and the Virumaa College of Tallinn University of Technology, where development and research related to the use and processing of oil shale is carried out, and relevant education is provided.

Enefit´s oil shale reserves in Uintah County, in the State of Utah, are estimated to amount to 3.1 billion tonnes, with the quantity of oil contained in such reserves estimated at 2.1 billion barrels. On the basis of those oil shale reserves, Enefit intends to develop an integrated oil shale industry with a daily capacity of up to 50,000 barrels where the Enefit technology, which is developed and implemented in Estonia, will be used.

At first, Enefit American Oil, the US company, will carry out further drilling and research work in Uintah County, to compliment the already completed geological research. Furthermore, an environmental impact assessment of the project will be prepared, and development and adjustment of Enefit technology will be continued in order to adapt it to the local oil shale.

The entire development of the US project until commencement of construction will take 6 years, according to the best knowledge available today, and construction itself will take 3-4 years.

Enefit develops oil shale projects in Estonia, Jordan and the USA. In both international development projects, the role of Enefit is to be the developer and leader of projects as well as the supplier of the Enefit technology. The focus in other countries with oil shale reserves is licensing and sale of the Enefit technology. Similar to Jordan, the US development project is not financed from the regulated businesses and additional financial investors can be involved in the development phase.

International projects are based on the development of the production of domestic liquid fuels. Last May, the construction of a new Enefit280 oil plant commenced. The first plant using the new generation technology will be completed in February 2012, and launched in August of the same year. By 2016, Enefit intends to have also established, in addition to shale oil production, an oil upgrading plant in Estonia with a daily capacity of up to 20,000 barrels of liquid fuels.

Marina Bachmann
Press Officer
Eesti Energia AS
Tel: 71 51 218
GSM: 56 456 600
[email protected]