Company eyes Utah oil shale project

A London-based company says it needs only to complete an environmental assessment before it can begin producing from oil shale on state lands in Utah.

TomCo Energy PLC owns 2,919 acres of oil shale leases on state school trust lands that the company estimates will produce the equivalent of 123 million barrels of oil.

A report commissioned by the company “endorses management’s belief that the company will need to prepare an environmental assessment under Utah state environmental law and not an environmental impact statement” under federal law, the company said in a statement.

The less-intensive assessment study is appropriate because TomCo anticipates disturbing no more than half an acre of water, the company said.

Utah state officials and then the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must review the engineering report before the company can make the next step toward commercial production.

TomCo plans to use technology licensed from Red Leaf Resources, which is pursuing its own lease on Utah state land.

Red Leaf Resources’ EcoShale in-capsule technology heats for about three months oil shale that has been mined and placed in a capsule for processing. The heat frees molecules of kerogen, a petroleum-like substance, which can be refined into transportation fuels.

such as diesel and jet fuel.

TomCo is “streamlining its corporate structure” so it can focus all its effort on its oil shale holdings in Utah, the company said.


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