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Red Leaf and Total form oil shale joint venture

Oilfield Technology,

Red Leaf Resources, Inc. and Total E&P USA have announced the signing of a joint venture for oil shale development in Utah.

Red Leaf and Total will jointly launch an Early Production System (EPS) to prove the commercial scalability of Red Leaf's EcoShaleTM In-Capsule Process on oil shale leaseholds located in the Uintah Basin of Utah.

This 'ex-situ' technology is applicable to shallow oil shale formations which will first be mined, then placed into large sealed capsules before undergoing a slow pyrolysis reaction to yield high quality hydrocarbons. The EcoShale(TM) process has a significantly reduced environmental footprint compared to operations for any other existing 'ex-situ' oil shale production technologies. Total will fund an 80% of the EPS expenses, which are estimated at approximately US$ 200 million in the aggregate.

Commercial demonstration of the EcoShale technology is intended to prove the economic and environmental attributes of the process. Red Leaf and Total then intend to launch an advanced commercial scale project on approximately 11,000 acres of jointly owned oil shale leaseholds that are estimated to contain several hundred million barrels of recoverable hydrocarbons.

Total will also fund an 80% share of the first US$ 200 million of the commercial production phase of operations. As part of this agreement, Total has the right to license the EcoShale(TM) technology for use on other future oil shale projects.

John Bannerman, CEO of Total E&P USA Oil Shale, LLC. said, "Given the magnitude of Oil Shale resources, in particular in the US, we believe that this project has an important long term potential for global energy markets. Red Leaf has a strong technical and scientific team generating interesting original ideas. We look forward to working with them to develop leading edge sustainable and environmentally responsible oil shale extraction processes."

Adapted from press release from Peter Farrell

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