In Utah there are currently two explorations into producing oil from tar sands that stand out and we should keep some eyes on: Petroteq, near Vernal on the Asphalt Ridge site and U.S. Oil Sands (USO Utah) operating at the P.R. Springs site.
Petroteq (was MCW):
Operating an old tar sands mine outside of Vernal, at Asphalt Ridge, that was previously used to mine road material. They’ve built a processing plant on site with what they say will have a 1,000 barrels per day production capacity, and are actively encouraging investment.
March 28, 2019: The company announced that it had been producing 500 barrels of oil per day for two weeks. They say they will scale up production to full capacity by the end of May.
February 8, 2019: Petroteq aquires 50% share in federal leases.
Petroteq Energy announced the execution of a definitive agreement with Momentum Asset Partners I, LLC for the acquisition of 50% of the operating rights of six U.S. Federal oil and gas leases: one located in P.R. Springs (encompassing approximately 8,480 gross acres) and five located in the Tar Sands Triangle. Total consideration for the transaction is US$10.8 million comprised of US$1.8 million in cash and US$9.0 million payable in Petroteq Energy shares (approximately 15 million common shares). (Raiston, Steven 2019)
“Biggest Breakthrough in Energy: Investor Warning” March, 2018: Here is a report debunking some of the propaganda that Petroteq has put out in the last few months.
2015-2018: The company constructed and operated a 250 bpd pilot plant on Temple Mountain. The company acquired the leases to oil sands to provide feedstock to the pilot plant. The pilot plant were relocated, upgraded and expanded to a 1,000 bpd facility on Asphalt Ridge right off of Highway 45 near the Green River.
USO Utah (was US Oil Sands):
Pre 2017: Built a $80+ Million experimental processing facility and began strip mining.
Went into bankruptcy proceedings right after completing the plant (though it is unclear if the plant was ever operational).
2017-2018: USOS declared bankruptcy and put the processing plant at PR Springs Utah up for sale but got no offers. Now USOS is called USO Utah and the major share holder, AMCO, remains the same.
US Oil Sands owed SITLA $265,000 in outstanding leasing and minimum royalty payments that were never paid.
USO Utah has reduced their SITLA lease holdings from 32,005 acres down to 5,930 acres.
Since 2008, USOS has made regular claims that oil production from tar sands was just around the corner. As it turns out, USOS never produced oil from tar commercially. Now USO Utah continues to keep up the charade.
UDOGM files on USO Utah-Including a recently revised Notice of Intent for Large Scale Mining (Feb 2019)
It appears as if the bankruptcy is over as of April 2018. The court appointed receiver asked the court to authorize the sale of the Purchased Assets (US Oil Sands) conveying entitlement to USO Utah LLC. all of US Oil Sands’ right, title, and interest in the purchased assets. Basically the original company, US Oil Sands, Inc., has been handed over to a new company USO Utah LLC. It appears as if ACMO, the major share holder in the orginial US Oil Sands is the only member of USO Utah. under the name ACMO USO LLC..
The story of how this all fell apart can be found here: “US Oil Sands enters into receivership”
The new company has applied to transfer the Notice of Intent to Commence Large Scale Mining Operations with the Division of Oil Gas and Mining in Utah.
What remains to be seen:
Who is the on the Board of Directors for USO Utah LLC. (or ACMO USO LLC.)?
Intertrust Corporate Services serves as their registered agent in Delaware and Paracorp Incorporated serves as their registered agent in Utah.
Will they continue to invest money to try to make the process work?
US Oil Sands files for bankruptcy. It’s assets have gone into receivership in order to pay off outstanding debts. It is unclear what that means for the future of mining on the PR Spring Site. It is possible that the equipment will be pieced out and sold and then the mine reclaimed, or another company could by it and continue mining. We will try to keep you updated.
April 10th, 2017
We visited the mine this weekend. There was no work actually happening, probably because it was the weekend, but here is what we saw:
- Mining of ore had been happening on what folks were calling the Children’s Legacy Camp. The land was stripped, overburden moved, and ore being scraped up.
- The ore has been crushed and piled near the processing facility (as pictured above)
- There is a constant sound of machinery coming from the plant, perhaps they are starting to process the ore. The sound could be described as a constant whirring, “woosh wooosh woosh….” Day and night.
- At night there are well over 50 giant super bright lights in the processing facility. They are on all major machinery and ringing the perimeter. These lights can be seen from the bottom of the valley down at PR Spring.