Our nine oil shale leases comprise of twenty five blocks covering 15,488 acres in Uintah County, Utah.

TomCo engaged SRK Consulting (Australasia) Pty Ltd. (“SRK”) to complete an independent technical review of two oil shale leases, ML 49570 and ML 49571, and we were pleased to announce the results of their technical review on 18 March 2019, which provided a best estimate Contingent Resources (2C) of, in aggregate, 131.3 MM bbl of oil assessed under Petroleum Resources Management System (“PRMS”) guidelines, plus a best estimate Prospective Resource (2U) of, in aggregate, 442.8 MM bbl oil across the two leases.

One of the TomoCo parcels of land covered by ML49571 is in part of an area termed the Holliday Block A and is where the Field Test is being undertaken, with 2C Contingent Resources of 57.3 MM bbl of oil and 2U Prospective Resources of 84.7 MM bbl of oil.

Leases ML48801, ML48802, ML48803, ML48806, ML49236, ML49237 and ML50151 comprise, in aggregate, 12,569 acres and are estimated to contain over 1.2 billion barrels of potential oil (as measured by the United States Geological Society) based on the projected thickness of the known oil shale zones.

Introduction to oil shale

Oil Shale

Not to be confused with shale oil, which is oil produced via horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing, oil shalemust be heated to high temperatures to convert the organic matter (kerogen) into usable oil.

Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of mud containing clays and silt-size particles of other minerals. Some shale can also contain significant amounts (5% or more) of organic matter—the fossil remains of protozoans, microscopic animals, or plants—called kerogen. When kerogen-bearing shale is buried deeply enough and for millions of years, the natural heat and pressure of the Earth can convert the kerogen to oil (and/or gas).

However, in Utah’s oil-shale deposits, much of the kerogen-bearing rock is close to the surface and therefore has not yet generated hydrocarbons. The oil industry has for years attempted to develop economic techniques to artificially “cook” the kerogen, thus speeding up the process from millions of years to days.

Utah’s oil-shale deposits are located in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah. The estimated in-ground resources are over 300 billion barrels of oil—some of the largest oil-shale resources in the world.

Utah oil shale was deposited as organic-rich sediments in a freshwater lake (Lake Uinta) about 50 million years ago. These deposits are found exposed around the Uinta Basin’s rim in the Green River Formation—also a major oil and gas producer in the subsurface of the basin. Potential Green River Formation oil shale reserves based on 30 gallons per ton of rock are almost 20 billion barrels of oil.

 

Our oil shale industry location in the USA

Key

Area underlain by the Green River formation in which the oil shale is unappraised or low grade

Area underlain by oil shale more than 10ft thick, which yields 25 gal or more oil per ton of shale

Overview of the oil shale industry in the United States

While appraisal of global oil shale is still in its infancy an estimated 2.8 trillion barrels of oil is contained in oil shale worldwide, by far the largest known deposit in the world is the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil Green River Formation in the United States, which occurs in a sparsely populated area covering parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. To put Green River Formation into perspective, worldwide proved oil reserves at the end of 2011 was 1.7 trillion barrels of oil, so bringing it into commercial production would almost double worldwide oil reserves. Accordingly, the Green River Formation has the potential of returning the United States to being a net exporter of oil for the first time since World War II.

Industry Potential

2.8 trillion barrels

2.8 trillion barrels of oil is contained in oil shale worldwide.

1.5 trillion barrels

The largest known deposit in the world is the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil Green River Formation in the United States.

1.7 trillion barrels

Oil reserve at the end of 2011 was 1.7 trillion barrels of oil, so bringing it into commercial production would almost double worldwide oil reserves.

Survey Notes Articles

Oil Shale vs. Shale Oil: What’s The Difference?
Survey Notes, v. 44 no. 3, September 2012

Exploring Utah’s Other Great Lake
Survey Notes, v. 43 no. 2, May 2011

Energy News: Evaluating Utah’s Oil Shale Resource
Survey Notes,v. 41 no. 1, January 2009

Utah likely to be a key player in future oil shale development
Survey Notes,v.38, no.1., January 2006