TomCo awards multiple pre-development contracts on oil shale project in Utah

Source: TomCo

TomCo Energy plc (AIM: TOM) has awarded a number of key contracts intended to provide some of the baseline environmental and operational information necessary for the formulation of a comprehensive oil shale development plan for the Holliday Block in Uintah County, Utah

As previously reported, TomCo's Holliday Block asset contains 123 MM bbl of recoverable oil, classified by SRK Consultants as an Indicated Resource under the JORC Code. TomCo intends to produce oil from this large resource using the EcoShale In-Capsule Process developed by Red Leaf Resources Inc. 

TomCo has signed an Engineering Service Agreement with Rocky Mountain Power Inc (RMP), the main electric supplier in the State of Utah, under which RMP will evaluate various alternative routes and options for the provision of high voltage line power to the Holliday Block site, with a target of approximately 27 months for the supply of the electricity to commence oil production. 

Additionally, TomCo has awarded a Roads and Access Study, to be undertaken by Epic Engineering of Heber City, Utah. This project will evaluate the existing network of dirt roads in this part of the Uintah Basin, the projected loadings implied by the development of a 9,500 bopd EcoShale facility at Holliday Block, and develop plans and recommendations for road development and/or upgrading for consideration by Uintah County authorities. 

TomCo has also awarded a high-resolution airborne topographic survey of the TomCo lease, combined with a detailed ground survey co-ordinated by Epic Engineering, in order to further refine the geological model and up-grade the resource assessments for the lease. 

TomCo has awarded a Water Resources Inventory to be undertaken by Epic Engineering, to provide data on drainage patterns, storm water predictions, seeps, springs etc in the Holliday Block area. As well as providing necessary baseline data required for environmental studies and future development permit applications, this project will help determine any additional water supply requirements for the planned TomCo development. 

Norwest Corporation, a large mining engineering consultancy based in Canada and the USA, has been engaged to develop a detailed, and fully costed, Mine Plan for TomCo's Holliday Block development. Norwest have been working closely with Red Leaf Resources on the Mine Plan for the nearby Seep Ridge EcoShaleTM project, and will bring this experience to bear directly on the Holliday Block. The Mine Plan will be based on the detailed geological model developed by SRK Consultants from the Company's corehole drilling on the Block, and will be the principal input into the development of Feasibility Economics for the project. 

TomCo is also in the advanced stages of discussions with a number of Environmental Contractors on the initiation of baseline Soil and Vegetation, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources and Air Quality studies which will be required for a future development permit applications. Some of these studies are expected to begin in Q4 2011, while others will be done in the spring of 2012; further announcements will be made when specific contracts are awarded. 

Stephen Komlosy, CEO of TomCo Energy, comments: "We are delighted to have engaged the services of Rocky Mountain Power, Epic Engineering and Norwest Corporation as consultancy partners in our Holliday Block development project, and we expect to see some real progress over the next several months. These are all companies with enormous experience in the Uintah Basin, and in the challenges presented by oil shale projects, and the projects being initiated are all necessary for the upgrading of project Resources to Reserves as we move towards development of our Holliday Block asset."

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