Seep Ridge Project - Seep Ridge Canyon Utah, USA
The Seep Ridge Block, a subset of Red Leaf’s Utah oil shale portfolio, is comprised of approximately 1,600 acres of rich, near surface oil shale. Supported by recent drilling and engineering resource reports, the Seep Ridge Block is estimated to hold approximately 120 million barrels of oil that can be recovered using Red Leaf’s EcoShale® technology. Seep Ridge is the site of the company’s field pilot that was constructed and operated in 2008 - 2009. The pilot successfully exhibited ther technology’s proprietary heating methods and oil extraction capabilities.
Red Leaf, together with joint venture partner, Total E&P USA, chose the Seep Ridge Block as the first commercial project site to exhibit the EcoShale technology on a commercial scale. The project received conditional approval for its Large Mine Permit in October 2011 from Utah’s Department of Oil, Gas, and Mining (DOGM) and is currently in the process of finalizing remaining permits in order to commence mining operations.
Upon successful completion of the Early Production System (EPS) phase, Red Leaf and Total will enter into a Final Investment Decision to expand the Seep Ridge operations into an estimated 10,000 barrel/day commercial production facility. The joint venture will also add additional oil shale resources to the Seep Ridge Block so that daily production can be increased and the life of the project can be extended.
The early years at Red Leaf were spent developing the EcoShale technology, patenting our IP, and proving our process in a series of computer models, simulators, and ultimately, laboratory bench tests. The technology graduated from simulators and bench tests to a large field pilot in 2008.
After assessing the surface mineable portions of the Utah leases, Seep Ridge was chosen to construct a field pilot and exhibit the proprietary process on a much larger scale. Design was finalized and construction commenced on the field pilot in the spring of 2008. Construction continued through the summer and into fall, coming to completion in September. October was spent testing and debugging the safety procedures at the site, field pilot capsule construction, and the Siemens refinery control system. Confident that the capsule was constructed well and ready to fire, the burners began applying heat at the first of November. Heating continued through the months of November, December and January, concluding early February.
The field pilot was operated successfully. The predicted levels of prompt oil and condensate were produced from the oil shale in the capsule, and the heating dynamics tracked company expectations from the process simulator. The remainder of 2009 was spent doing post-operations analysis on the field pilot and also testing the produced oil.