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BLM Extends Enefit’s Oil Shale RD&D Lease

10 Jul 2017

Enefit American Oil (EAO) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted a five-year extension of the company’s oil shale Research Development & Demonstration (RD&D) lease on 160 acres of federal land in eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin.

RD&D leases were created to encourage private companies to research and develop on ways to produce liquid fuels from oil shale and then commercialize the resulting technology. Enefit acquired an existing RD&D lease as part of its purchase of private property, options and leases from another oil shale company in 2011.

“EAO has met the requirements of the provision of its RD&D Lease authorizing a five-year extension of the lease terms, and granting the extension is in the public interest and consistent with energy policy of the United States,” BLM Utah State Director Edwin L. Roberson writes in the Record of Decision signed June 27, 2017.

“We’re delighted that the BLM recognizes our progress on the Utah Project,” said EAO CEO Rikki Hrenko-Browning. “By extending this lease through mid-2022, the BLM is demonstrating its long-term commitment to working with the energy industry to unlock the tremendous potential of oil shale as an energy source.”

Over the past six years, Enefit has invested significant resources to move its Utah Project forward, including community outreach and education; extensive testing of the oil shale resource at the company’s facilities in Europe; environmental baseline studies; requesting permission for utilities to cross federal land, including participating in the required Environmental Impact Statement process; and facilitating the successful assessment of the company’s oil shale resources, resulting in the world’s first oil shale-to-shale oil Reserve designation, which shows that the Project is technically and financially feasible.

EAO is the U.S. subsidiary of Estonia-based Enefit, the world leader in producing power and liquid fuels from oil shale using its proprietary technology.

 

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Utah Ranked 11th in the World for Mining Investment

29 Mar 2017

Utah just missed the top 10 in the list of the world’s friendliest investment regions for mining in the annual Survey of Mining Companies 2016 by the Fraser Institute, coming in at number eleven (down from ninth last year).

 

Nevada and Arizona were the only U.S. states to make the top 10, ranking fourth and seventh, respectively.

 

The Fraser Institute’s survey canvassed the opinions of mining executives and managers worldwide on the policies and the mineral resources of 104 global jurisdictions.

Enefit´s affiliate company has achieved financial close for the USD 2.1 billion oil shale power project in Jordan

20 Mar 2017

Enefit´s affiliate company Attarat Power Company (APCO) announced that it has reached financial close for the USD 2.1 billion project to construct the first oil shale fired power station and open cast mine in Jordan. The construction of the 554MW gross/470MW net oil shale fired mine mouth power station will commence shortly and the power station is scheduled to start operation in mid-2020.

 

Investment value of the project is USD 2.1 billion, making this the largest externally financed project in Jordan and the largest single investment into oil shale. With financial close Enefit has completed the sell-down of its previous 65% shareholding in APCO to 10%. APCO is now owned 45% by YTL Power International of Malaysia, 45% by Guangdong Yudean Group Co. Limited of China and 10% by Enefit. The shareholders have committed to provide base shareholder funding of up to USD 528 million to fund the project.

The USD 1.582 billion debt financing will be provided on the basis of support by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). The lead is arranged by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China. China Construction Bank and China Exim will also participate in the facility.

 

Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Enefit: “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Estonia are alike in many ways – we both have very few natural resources but an abundance of oil shale. Estonia has utilized oil shale for 100 years and we are proud that we have had the opportunity to help the Kingdom start utilizing its vast resource. Jordan imports over 95% of its energy needs. APCO´s power plant meeting 10-15% of the Kingdom´s rapidly increasing energy consumption will offer a much-needed solution for Jordan.”

 

Hando Sutter: “Achieving financial close for this strategic and unique project has required the dedication of many international parties for several years. Enefit would like to thank everyone who has believed in the success of this project, which has enabled Enefit to share its 100 years of experience with oil shale. We especially thank our partner Near East Investments and the Government of Jordan for inviting us to Jordan and YTL, Yudean and the Chinese lenders for investing in oil shale. With the expertise and advanced technology for both oil and power production it has developed over the years, Enefit is in a strong position to help advise and support other countries with large oil shale deposits who want to utilize those resources.”

 

APCO has entered into a fixed cost fixed term engineering, procurement and construction contract with Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Group Co Ltd. Commercial operations of the two units are scheduled for 38 and 42 months from financial close. APCO has entered into a 30-year agreement with National Electric Power Corporation for the sale of the entire electrical capacity and net electrical output following construction of the power station. Affiliates of the shareholders will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the power station as well as the fuel supply. The power station and oil shale mine are expected to employ approximately 5,500 people during construction and 1,000 during operations. The power plant has been designed to meet Jordanian regulations for solid fuel generation which are equivalent to or stricter than IFC Performance Standards and World Bank Health and Safety Guidelines.

 

In addition to developing an oil shale fired power plant in Jordan, Enefit has signed, through its 65% subsidiary Jordan Oil Shale Energy Co (JOSE), an Oil Shale Surface Retort Concession Agreement with the Government of Jordan, giving it exploration and production rights for 40 years for approximately 2.6 billion tonnes of geological oil shale resource.

 

Notes:

 

In 2013, Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation was selected to lead the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the 554MW (gross) mine mouth oil shale fired power plant under a fixed price turnkey contract. Foster Wheeler will provide the circulating fluidised bed boiler island, Siemens on the steam turbine generator and Worley Parsons on the plant design. The plant will be based at the Attarat um Ghudran oil shale deposit approximately 100km south east of Amman.

 

Enefit is the world´s largest oil shale energy company. Its sole shareholder is the Republic of Estonia. Enefit owns and operates some 2,000MW of direct oil shale fired mine-mouth power generation capacity and supplies electricity to some 450,000 customers. Enefit is also one of the largest producers of shale oil in the world and has been engaged in oil shale processing for 80 years. Enefit has studied oil shale in 13 countries worldwide (in Jordan, US, China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Morocco, Serbia etc.), owns an oil shale project in Utah, USA, with an estimated of 2.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and owns a pilot plant for oil shale studies in Frankfurt, Germany. More than 1 billion tons of oil shale has been mined, over 200 million barrels of oil have been produced and more than 600TWh of electricity has been produced from oil shale in Estonia to date.

 

YTL Power International Berhad (YTLPI) is listed on Bursa Malaysia. YTLPI owns and operates some 5,500MW of gas, oil and coal-fired power generation plants in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and is an active trader of oil products in the Singapore market where it has approximately 850,000m3 of storage capacity. YTLPI also owns 100% of Wessex Water Services Limited, a water and sewerage services company that serves the south west of England in the UK and a one-third stake in ElectraNet S.A. which owns and operates the electricity transmission network in South Australia.

 

Yudean, based in Guangdong Province, is a Chinese utility which is 76% owned by People’s Government of Guangdong Province and 24% owned by China Huaneng Group. As of the end of 2015, Yudean had total assets amounting to nearly 130 billion RMB, controllable installed capacity of 29,085.6MW, and controllable shipping capacity of 2.41 million DWT, and realized the annual operating revenue of 46.749 billion RMB. Also, Yudean wholly owned, controlled and participated in more than 157 organizations, and exercised control over listed company – Guangdong Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. Yudean’s core business involves coal-fired power, hydropower, natural gas power generation, wind power, nuclear power, photovoltaic power generation, etc., and diversified industries include mine, shipping, port, LNG terminal, equipment manufacture and finance etc., covering the whole Guangdong Province, and is actively extended to areas outside Guangdong Province and foreign countries.

 

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Utah’s economy continues to lead the nation, benefiting EAO’s Utah Project

9 Mar 2017

Utah’s booming economy, positive business environment and prudent fiscal leadership continue to keep the state at or near the top of national “Best of…” lists. The state’s solid economic foundation and pro-business, pro-energy climate is a great benefit that supports and adds value to Enefit’s Utah Project.

 

Forbes magazine recently named Utah #1 for the third straight year in its annual “Best States for Business” report. Utah also took top honors between 2010 and 2012.

 

U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks Utah #1 for job growth.

 

In another recent report, U.S. News ranked Utah seventh overall in a comparison of the strengths of all 50 states in seven different areas – economy, infrastructure, opportunity, health care, education, crime and government. Utah scored particularly well in the areas of economy (high growth in jobs and GDP, pro-business environment), infrastructure (transportation, internet access, low energy costs), higher education (graduation rate, low student debt, low tuition and fees), government (fiscal stability, credit rating, e-government).

 

And, the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute finds that Utah’s economic prosperity will keep growing throughout 2017, with continued strong increases expect in employment, population, construction and other key sectors.

 

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‘Reserve’ status increases value of Enefit’s oil shale holdings

8 Mar 2017

Enefit American Oil has secured what is believed to be the world’s first confirmed oil-shale-to-shale-oil Reserve classification, a third-party analysis confirming the Utah Project’s technical and economic feasibility, according to rigorous mining and petroleum industry reporting standards.

 

This is a major milestone that adds significant value to the Project. In addition to showing that the Project is technically and financially viable, it confirms there are nearly 520 million proven and probable barrels of shale oil on about 6,000 acres of our privately owned Enefit South property. That will support a production level of approximately 50,000 barrels of oil a day for more than 30 years.

 

“The Reserve finding – made by Millcreek Mining Group after more than six months of study – is a critical step along the development path for natural resources projects,” said Enefit’s Acting CEO Ryan Clerico. “It moves the Project up the value curve by converting from the less-certain designation of ‘Resource’ to a Reserve. It also shows financial institutions and potential investors that the Project has solid long-term value.”

 

Seeking outside investors has always been part of Enefit’s long-term strategy for the Utah Project, which will require several billion dollars to build. With a Reserve classification in hand, the company can begin that process; Enefit has successfully attracted investors for its oil shale project in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan and is looking forward to the opportunity of doing so in the U.S.

 

The Reserve statement demonstrates that the Utah Project’s business plan is sound and that using the commercially proven Enefit technology is feasible. The oil production technology has been used for more than 30 years at Enefit’s operations in its home country of Estonia; the Reserve finding shows, through test work and engineering, that it is compatible with Utah oil shale. While there are certainly differences between the Estonian and Utah shale – for instance, the Utah shale is much drier – the fundamental process can be adapted for the Project.

 

In total, Enefit’s holdings contain more than 3.5 billion barrels of in-place shale oil across 27,000 acres, nearly two-thirds of which is private land. The Project is in what’s considered a “sweet spot” in the Green River Formation, the world’s largest deposit of oil shale, centered at the junction of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

Jordan Oil Shale Project Adds Major Equity Partner

6 May 2016

May 6, 2016 – Attarat Power Company (APCO) announced that its shareholders Eesti Energia (Enefit American Oil’s parent company), YTL Power International Berhad (YTL) and Near East Investment (NEI) have signed an agreement to introduce a new shareholder Yudean Group (Yudean) to the project to develop an oil shale fired 554 MW (gross) power plant and mine in Jordan. Yudean has agreed to purchase 45% of the shares and YTL a further 15% of the shares with Eesti Energia stepping down to 10% and Near East Investments exiting the project. Following the completion of the share transfers which is subject to achieving full financial close APCO will be indirectly owned by Eesti Energia AS of Estonia (10%), YTL Power International Bhd of Malaysia (45%) and Yudean Group of China (45%).

 

Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia: “Estonia has 100 years of experience utilizing oil shale and we are happy that Jordan is about to start utilizing its abundant energy resource. We are one step closer towards establishing Jordan´s first oil shale fired power plant. We now hope to get final approvals for the loan guarantees from Sinosure and Chinese Government in order to finally conclude the financing and proceed with construction.”

 

Dato´ Yeoh Seok Hong, Executive Director of YTL Power International Berhad: “YTL Power is very pleased to increase our stake to 45% and welcome Yudean to be our partner and jointly lead the development of this milestone project and to support the Jordanian Government in furthering its policy of energy independence. The 554 MW oil shale fired power plant will cover a substantial portion of Jordan´s energy need and reduce the Kingdom´s import of oil products for power generation. The sponsors’ combined extensive experience in power generation and mining will drive this project to fruition, beginning a process for Jordan to achieve cost effective and reliable energy independence.”

 

Huang Zhenhai, Director and General Manager of Yudean Group: “We are glad to join a project of strategic importance for Jordan that will provide a sustainable, viable and much needed solution to the Kingdom’s current and long term energy challenges.”

 

Earlier this year APCO signed agreements with Bank of China (BoC) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to provide debt funding for the project. The USD 1.6 billion debt financing will be provided on the basis of support by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). The sponsors continue working on a number of conditions precedent before full financial close can be achieved, including receiving final approvals for the export credit insurance from Sinosure and the Government of China. The power plant is scheduled to start generating electricity for local consumption in 2019.

 

Pictures of the signing are here.

 

Notes to the Editor:

Attarat Power Company (APCO) is developing a nominal 554MW (gross) oil shale fired power generation project. It has signed a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), the Jordan state-owned utility, for the entire electrical capacity and enrergy of the power plant, with an attractive option for NEPCO to extend the PPA to 40 years. In 2013, Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation was selected to lead the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the 554MW (gross) mine mouth oil shale fired power plant under a fixed price turnkey contract. Foster Wheeler will provide the circulating fluidised bed boiler island, Siemens on the steam turbine generator and Worley Parsons on the plant design. The plant will be based at the Attarat um Ghudran oil shale deposit approximately 100km south east of Amman.

 

YTL Power International Berhad (YTLPI) is listed on Bursa Malaysia. YTLPI owns and operates some 5,100MW of gas, oil and coal-fired power generation plants in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and is an active trader of oil products in the Singapore market where it has approximately 1 million m3 of storage capacity. YTLPI also owns 100% of Wessex Water Services Limited, a water and sewerage services company that serves the south west of England in the UK and a one-third stake in ElectraNet Pty. Ltd.. which owns and operates the electricity transmission network in South Australia.

 

Yudean is a Chinese state-owned utility which owns and operates over 29,000 MW of power generation capacity with ca. 13,000 employees. Yudean is an experienced independent power producer (IPP) and has significant coal mining operations both in China and Australia. Yudean is owned by Guangdong Province (76%) and China Huaneng Group (24%).

 

Eesti Energia is an international energy company that operates in the unified electricity market of the Baltic and Nordic countries. Its sole shareholder is the Republic of Estonia. Eesti Energia owns and operates some 2,000MW of direct oil shale fired mine-mouth power generation capacity and supplies electricity to some 450,000 customers. Eesti Energia is also one of the largest producers of (kerogen) shale oil in the world and has been engaged in oil shale processing for 35 years. More than 1 billion tons of oil shale has been mined, over 200 million barrels of oil have been produced and more than 600TWh of electricity has been produced from oil shale in Estonia to date.

Utah Ranks Among Top 10 Mining Regions in the World

27 Apr 2016

Utah ranks ninth out of the top 10 in the list of the world’s best investment regions for mining, according to an annual survey of 449 mining executives released by the Fraser Institute – an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think tank.

 

The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2015, rates 109 jurisdictions around the world, based on their geologic attractiveness and how much government policies encourage exploration and investment.

 

Nevada and Alaska were the only other U.S. states to make the top 10.

 

Read the Utah Mine Association’s April 2016 Newsletter for more info

Estonia is hosting an International Symposium, “Oil Shale 100,” to celebrate 100 years of oil shale mining

22 Apr 2016

Foto 262From September 20 – 23, Estonia will be hosting an International Symposium, “Oil Shale 100.” The symposium will connect resource holders, technology developers, researchers, government representatives and business leaders from across the world to celebrate a momentous anniversary in oil shale development – 100 years of oil shale mining in Estonia. The event is organized under the leadership of the world´s leading oil shale energy company Eesti Energia, Tallinn University of Technology, and the University of Tartu.

 

According to Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia, the symposium will offer unique opportunities to hear about the latest innovations and technology updates, increases in efficiency and applications to reduce environmental impacts.

 

“Estonia is living proof that the oil shale industry can be viable long-term and has remained so throughout the last century. Estonia is the largest oil shale processor in the world, and we have proven technologies for producing both electricity and oil. In addition to developing the world´s largest oil shale industry in Estonia, we are able to export our unique know-how to other resource holding countries,” Hando Sutter noted.

 

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According to Professor Volli Kalm, Rector of the University of Tartu, this is a milestone year for Estonia’s oil shale industry. It marks 100 years since oil shale mining began and for oil shale being the subject of scientifically based research. “Scientific research on oil shale, carried out with the help of Estonian universities, enables the Government to make well-informed decisions so that, through job creation and promotion of innovation in the energy sector, our society can continue to benefit from oil shale in the future,” Kalm said.

 

“When it comes to Estonian research and technology, oil shale science is indisputably world-class. A discussion of the field’s global future presents a big challenge and opportunity for all our researchers and engineers,” observed Jaak Aaviksoo, academician and Rector of the Tallinn University of Technology.

 

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The first oil shale conference was held in Estonia in 1968 at the Tallinn University of Technology. Most recently, Estonia hosted an international oil shale symposium in 2013 with 400 industry professionals from 33 countries attending.

 

The symposium´s panel sessions will be held in Tallinn at Kultuurikatel (Tallinn Creative Hub) on September 20 and 21. A field trip will offer an opportunity to visit industrial-scale oil shale facilities – the 300 MW Auvere Power Plant, and the Enefit280, a combined shale oil, gas, and electricity cogeneration plant, as well as an operational open cast mine. The symposium is being organized in collaboration with the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, and the Estonian National Committee of the World Energy Council.
Additional information and submission of abstracts:
www.oilshalesymposium.com

Enefit American Oil Welcomes Release of BLM DEIS to Allow Utility Corridor Across Federal Land to Serve Company’s Energy Project

7 Apr 2016

BLM Opens Comment Period and Schedules Three Open Houses in Early May

 

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SALT LAKE CITY – Enefit American Oil (EAO) is pleased that, after more than three years of work, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will release on Friday a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on potential effects of a utility corridor to serve the company’s planned oil shale project in eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin.

 

While EAO’s energy project would be developed on private property the company owns, utilities to serve it must cross federal land, which requires an environmental review process. Uses for the utility corridor include water and natural gas supply lines, 138-kilovolt electricity lines, road improvements, and an oil product pipeline.

 

“We have worked closely and cooperated fully with the BLM and other federal, state and local agencies since the environmental review process began in late 2012,” said EAO CEO Rikki Hrenko-Browning. “Many issues and concerns were identified during the process, and we believe they have been sufficiently addressed to advance approval of the ‘Proposed Action’ to allow the utility corridor.”

 

The BLM has announced that it will accept emailed public comments about the DEIS and Proposed Action through June 14, 2016, at UT_Vernal_Comments@blm.gov. Three open houses have been scheduled for the public to learn about the environmental document and ask questions of the BLM’s review team. Meetings will be held May 3 in Vernal, Utah, May 4 in Rangely, Colorado, and May 5 in Salt Lake City. Once the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register on Friday, the DEIS may be viewed at http://go.usa.gov/csa9j.  

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Responding to critics

 

“We’re aware that many advocacy groups have made, and no doubt will continue to make, comments challenging the need for our project and making allegations about it that are simply not true,” Hrenko-Browning said. “Given that the environmental document, which will be voluminous, won’t be published until Friday, meaning neither EAO nor the dissenters have yet seen the analysis, we encourage people to review it closely before making conclusions.”

 

“It’s also important to remember,” Hrenko-Browning added, “that some groups want to confuse the issue by trying to connect development of the entire project to the utility corridor analysis, while in reality the agency’s decision applies only to the 15 or so miles of BLM land that utilities will cross.”

 

Myth vs Reality

 

Other myths about EAO’s oil shale project that are often repeated by opponents include claims that producing energy from oil shale is not viable, that the production process will use extravagant amounts of water, that EAO’s project is subsidized by the government, and that more energy is used to produce oil from oil shale than the resulting oil provides. All of these assertions are false:

 

  • Viability: EAO’s parent company is the world’s largest producer of oil and electricity from oil shale. In its home country of Estonia, the firm has a 100-year track record of producing electricity and steam heat from oil shale and has produced liquid fuels from mined oil shale for more than 30 years. The largest company in the Baltic nation, it supplies 90 percent of the country’s power. In addition, viable oil shale industries exist in Brazil and China and are being developed in other countries, including Jordan.
  • Water use: “We are very sensitive to the fact that water is an extremely precious resource in Utah’s arid environment,” Hrenko-Browning said. “That’s why we’re committed to designing the project to be a ‘zero liquid discharge’ facility, meaning that all wastewater will be captured and reused on site.

 

“What’s more, no water is used in the raw oil production process itself, but will primarily be needed for dust suppression in the mining operation, as is normal for similar projects. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a 50,000 barrel-per-day oil shale plant – the potential size of EAO’s project if fully developed – would use about 4,000 acre-feet of water per year. That’s about the same amount of water needed to grow 2,000 acres of alfalfa. With that amount of water, EAO could meet one-third of Utah’s current annual liquid fuel demand – an impressive and beneficial use of our water resources.”

 

  • Subsidies: While oil shale projects in the 1970s and ‘80s were subsidized by the U.S. military, those programs no longer exist and EAO’s project is in no way subsidized by government. Nor are the company’s Estonian operations. In fact, the opposite is true: Enefit pays an annual royalty to the Estonian government; in 2015, this amount was 62 million euros (approximately US$68 million).

 

“The BLM’s involvement in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement does not imply any kind of government endorsement either, as some have suggested,” said Hrenko-Browning. “The government is required to conduct an environmental analysis when a request is made by a private company or other organization that could potentially affect federal property.”

 

  • Energy yield. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Petroleum Reserves estimates that oil from surface-mined oil shale can return 10 times or more energy than is used to produce it. That’s similar to the 10.5 average energy return for conventional petroleum. In comparison, producing ethanol from corn actually uses more energy than it returns.

 

“While EAO supports the federal government’s ‘all of the above’ energy policy,” Hrenko-Browning said, “even renewables such as solar and wind have environmental impacts and are entirely dependent on the mining industry to support the vital components that make these renewables possible. There is no magic bullet solution to the energy needs that support our daily activities and the high quality of life that we all enjoy.”

 

EAO’s environmental commitment

 

In addition to progress on the EIS, EAO has participated in a Conservation Agreement recently signed by a wide range of federal, state and local agencies to conserve two sensitive penstemon plants and prevent an endangered species listing. EAO voluntarily set aside more than 1,600 acres of its private property for a penstemon conservation area and is supporting plant surveys and transplantation efforts that are already showing dramatic success.

 

“Enefit American Oil is well qualified to contribute to Utah’s energy security, create long-term jobs, and help meet community goals,” Hrenko-Browning noted. “Our 30-year track record of producing liquid fuels in an environmentally responsible and economically viable manner demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and desire to work together with our community to develop this project in the most responsible manner possible.”

 

Visit EnefitUtah.com for more information about the company and its Utah Project.

Open Houses Set for Public to Review, Comment on Utility Corridor DEIS for Enefit’s Utah Project

7 Apr 2016

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host three open houses in Vernal, Rangely and Salt Lake City to allow the public an opportunity to review and comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a utility corridor needed to serve Enefit American Oil (EAO)’s Utah oil shale project. The DEIS document will be printed in the Federal Register on Friday, April 8, and can be viewed on the BLM’s project web page at go.usa.gov/csa9j once it is published.

 

The meetings will be held at:

 

  • Uintah County Library, 204 E. 100 North, Vernal, Utah, on Tuesday, May 3, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Western Rio Blanco Recreation and Park District, 611 S. Stanolind Avenue, Rangely, Colorado, on Wednesday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 4975 Wiley Post Way, Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, May 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The majority of EAO’s proposed project activities are located on private land (including mining, retorting, and upgrading operations). However, EAO requires a right-of-way from the BLM for a utility corridor across federal land. This corridor will house overhead electric transmission lines, buried water and natural gas supply pipelines, a buried product delivery pipeline, and improvement of an existing, unpaved county road.

EAO applied for a right-of-way grant from the BLM in November 2012, and the release of the DEIS represents an important milestone in the company’s project development. The BLM’s DEIS describes potential impacts to the human and natural environment associated with the utility corridor.

 

Utilities Corridor

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Attend the Meetings, Send in Comments of Support

2Supporters of Enefit’s Utah Project are encouraged to attend one of the public meetings to express support. You may also send comments to the BLM at UT_Vernal_Comments@blm.gov no later than June 14, 2016.

To be most effective, comments in support of the BLM’s “Proposed Action” – granting of a right-of-way across federal land – should be as specific as possible and demonstrate how the corridor complies with or complements existing local, state and federal plans and policies. Here are some reasons why we believe the Proposed Action should be approved and the “No Action” alternative should not be selected:

 

  • The Proposed Action will minimize large truck traffic on local roads by providing important connections to regional utilities, which in turn will prevent harmful tailpipe emissions and reduce the potential for severe transportation-related accidents in our community;
  • The Proposed Action will reduce fugitive dust and improve visibility and safety by paving a section of county road that is currently gravel;
  • The Proposed Action will not be harmful to wildlife or natural areas thanks to Enefit’s commitment to responsible management and restoration of the right-of-way;
  • The Proposed Action avoids and minimizes impacts to sensitive resources thanks to Enefit’s efforts in engineering a “minimal footprint” corridor, such that the environmental quality of these federal lands will continue to have value for present and future generations; and
  • The Proposed Action meets the BLM’s responsibility of multiple use and sustained yield of federal lands under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, providing an important economic return on the use of those lands.

 

Reasons why Enefit believes the BLM should not select the No Action alternative:

  • The No Action alternative would result in significant increases in large truck traffic for transport of Enefit’s products, increasing harmful tailpipe emissions and transportation safety hazards in our community;
  • The No Action alternative has the potential to further “strand” valuable natural resources, in a market where they are already considered stranded, with no measureable benefit to the public or local community; and
  • The No Action alternative is not consistent with the BLM’s land use management responsibilities and objectives and would generate no return to federal government through responsible use of federal lands.

4In addition, supporters may want to reference that the majority of the world’s oil shale reserves are in our backyard, how Enefit has worked proactively and positively with the community, why it is important to create sustainable jobs for people in the Uintah Basin, and how the project is consistent with specific economic development and land use plans, such as the BLM’s Vernal Resource Management Plan, the Federal Land Use Policy and Management Act, the State of Utah Governor’s energy policy, the Penstemon Conservation Agreement, and the Uintah County General Plan.

Enefit American Oil is uniquely qualified to contribute to Utah’s energy security and create long-term jobs that will help our community grow and keep families closer together. With a 30-year track record of producing liquid fuels in an environmentally responsible and economically viable manner, Enefit’s vision is consistent with our community goals and long-range planning efforts. Enefit staff have shown their commitment to environmental stewardship and desire to work together with our community to develop this project in the most responsible manner possible.