TurboShale, a Utah company incorpororated in 2017, and now in partnership with JRT, has acquired a process which builds upon the already proven use of Radio Frequency (RF) to produce oil from oil shale. The technology can be compared to a previous multimillion USD RF test programme (“BART Programme”) conducted in the early 1980s at a site in the same Uinta Basin as, and estimated to be within approximately 20 miles of, TomCo’s Holliday Block, Utah
During 2018, TurboShale commenced a Field Test Programme on the Holliday Block property, intended to prove it’s developed RF technology. Results are expected later this year.
The BART (Badger, Raytheon and Texaco) programme was conducted within 20 miles of TomCo’s acreage in the Uinta Basin in Utah in the early 1980s. The programme applied RF energy to fracture and retort in-situ oil while using conventional oil and gas field techniques to recover oil production.
Laboratory testing, analysis and field testing at BART’s Utah site have resulted in a better understanding of the fundamentals of oil shale which are proving invaluable to TomCo’s current programme.
In particular, Ray Kasevich, the Technical Director of the BART programme and one of the key exponents of RF, is part of the JRT team and working with TomCo on its Turboshale project.
The Directors believe the results of the 1980s BART Programme were very encouraging – demonstrating low operating and production costs, with a good quality oil (low sulfur, high API, low pour point) being produced using this process
- Radio waves are emitted from antennas in horizontal or vertical wells and deeply penetrate almost any material (permafrost, soils , rock)
- Absorption at molecular level occurs resulting in chemical bonds weakening; resonances, and desorption
- RF rapidly heats the pore and material bonded waters (connate, water of crystallization, capillary waters providing a controlled ‘fracturing’ in rock. As a result there are no water or chemical requirements for the fracturing process
- RF waves create oil/gas movement
- Antenna lengths from a few meters to tens of meters in vertical wells depending on frequency and layouts. Long antennas in horizontal wells also possible
- Portable and computer controlled operating systems
- Wide range of frequency choices and RF generator power range, typically up to 250 kW
- Minimum impact on the environment: No need for blasting or leaching rock
- True in-situ technology, similar to conventional drilling practices
- The 1980s BART study indicates reduced refinery costs: with the recovered oil having low sulfur, high API and low pour point
- No water requirement; only recycled water for equipment cooling may be necessary
- Higher quality oil & gas product with RF at lower temperaturesRF gives precise temperature control for control of oil/gas yield and product characteristics