September 2018 Newsletter






Feds approve utility corridor for Enefit’s Utah Project!


Readers of this newsletter know that Enefit has been engaged in a nearly six-year effort to seek approval to extend industrial-scale utilities across a sliver of federal land.


So, to say Monday, Sept. 24th, was a big day for us is quite an understatement!



That’s the day Joe Balash, the US Interior Department’s Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals


Management, signed a Record of Decision authorizing a right-of-way-grant for utilities and an access road improvement across BLM land. The agency’s environmental review found that allowing Enefit’s utility corridor would have less environmental impact than other alternatives, such as trucking commodities into and out of the Project site in a remote area of eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin.


The signing of the Record of Decision and BLM’s issuance of the ROW grants is the last step in the process, following the Final Environmental Impact Statement that was approved by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office and published in the Federal Register on May 18th. The release of the FEIS triggered a public comment period, ending July 9nd with only a few comments received and none raising new issues.


While interest groups have the right to appeal within 30 days of the Record of Decision being signed, all concerns raised by third parties throughout the EIS process have been resolved to the BLM’s satisfaction. What’s more, the agency has been very mindful of closely following all process rules and requirements in anticipation of a legal challenge, so we’re optimistic that any appeals will not be successful.


The signing of the ROD and granting of a right-of-way across federal land is a major milestone for Enefit’s Project and keeps us on a positive path moving forward.


Once again, we sincerely appreciate the unwavering support we have received from public officials and supporters during this long process!


Enefit American Oil welcomes Ryan Clerico as new CEO


Enefit American Oil CEO Rikki Hrenko-Browning will join the Utah Petroleum Association as the organization’s new President on Jan. 2, 2019. Until then, Hrenko-Browning will continue in her position at EAO, after which Ryan Clerico, EAO’s Head of Development and Environment, will become CEO. Clerico has been with EAO since August 2012 and has previously served as acting CEO. 2509.jpg



“Rikki has been an important part to our efforts to develop the Utah Project and bring our proven oil shale production technology to new markets, we wish her best in her new role,” said Margus Vals, President of EAO’s Board. “Ryan has contributed a lot to EAO´s efforts during the last years and will be in an excellent position to take on the development.”


“Ryan has my full confidence,” Hrenko-Browning noted. “His background and extensive project knowledge means the Project’s leadership won’t skip a beat.”


“I am looking forward to continuing the progress in making a U.S. commercial oil shale industry a reality,” said Clerico. Over the course of a more than 20-year career, Clerico has worked in a broad range of such industry segments as energy and infrastructure; mining; oil and gas; commercial and residential real estate; and transportation. Clerico has demonstrated success gaining major approvals and entitlements at the federal, state, local and international government levels for complex and controversial projects, while ensuring continued stakeholder support, as well as taking projects through full construction and into operation. Clerico is a Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) with experience in all aspects of the environment, health and safety, and social license to operate, including numerous technical publications.


Enefit´s parent company sets strategy for 2018-2022


Enefit, of which Enefit American Oil (EAO) is a wholly-owned subsidiary, recently announced its strategic action plan for the next four years, 2018-2022. The strategy is designed to build a strong foundation for long-term competitiveness, profitability and dividend solvency.



Based in Estonia, Enefit plans to expand its activities in the Baltic Sea region, offering energy solutions to customers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The company also plans to expand its renewable energy production in the same region.



In addition to its home region, the company is seeking opportunities to export its know-how of processing oil shale to energy to markets around the world. In addition to the Utah Project, Enefit already has cooperation projects in more than 10 countries with oil shale deposits, including Morocco, Myanmar and Jordan.


Enefit is investing in both its well-developed oil shale industry and diversifying into other fuel sources to ensure that people now and in the future have access to reasonably priced and cleanly produced energy. Key developments include making an investment decision in 2019 to expand its Estonian footprint by building another oil and electricity cogeneration plant, as well as other facilities to increase liquid fuels production by nearly 10 percent and improve fuel quality. If approved, 2024 is targeted for completion of the new facilities.


In addition to preparing for the next Enefit280 oil plant and increasing the value of liquid oil production, the firm is working to increase the use of its by-products, such as waste rock and ash, and preparing for new renewable energy projects. The company is increasing electricity production from renewable and alternative sources, targeting a 40 percent share of its output by 2022.


Federal sage grouse protection plans may change to mirror state’s


The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is considering land use plan amendments aimed at conserving and protecting greater sage grouse by improving communication and collaboration between states and the Federal government. As a result, BLM published the Utah Greater Sage Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement on May 4th.



The BLM’s draft proposes the “Management Alignment alternative” – which Enefit supports – to bring consistency between the BLM’s resource management plans and the State of Utah’s plan.


The state plan is wide-ranging, commits to use the best-available science and enhances habitat for future generations. The state plan was developed and implemented to combat the decline of the species and its habitat, and to preclude a listing under the Endangered Species Act. These efforts are showing positive results.


However, there are still some points in the BLM draft that need to be clarified, such as the use of the term “occupied habitat,” as well as a lack of clarity regarding mitigation requirements in areas previously designated as general habitat. In the BLM draft, the specific habitat designation “GHMA” is removed entirely, as it is not recognized in the state plan. However, it appears BLM may still require mitigation in previous GHMA areas, even though the designation/term itself has been removed.BLM also recently issued Instruction Memorandum 2018-093 on July 24 which removes the requirement for compensatory mitigation when not otherwise required by law or a binding land use plan. Similarly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently withdrawn its November 21, 2016 policy requiring “net conservation gain” through mitigation as being contrary to law.



Enefit-affiliated oil shale project in Jordan progressing quickly



Construction is moving quickly on the Enefit-affiliated oil shale project in the Middle East country of Jordan, where both a new oil shale mine and oil shale power plant are being built. Crews recently placed the steam drum of the Unit 1 boiler 45 days ahead of schedule, marking substantial completion of the boiler’s steel structure. The power plant has a target opening date of 2020. Enefit is also developing a liquid fuels plant similar to one planned for the Utah project.


To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here. If you know someone who would like to subscribe, they can do so here.