TomCo Energy plc, the US operating oil development group focused on using innovative technology to unlock unconventional hydrocarbon resources, is pleased to provide an update in respect of Greenfield Energy LLC ("Greenfield"), the Company's 50/50 joint venture with Valkor LLC ("Valkor"), and the upgrades being undertaken by Greenfield to Petroteq Energy Inc's ("Petroteq") existing oil sands plant at Asphalt Ridge, Utah (the "POSP") pursuant to the work order to seek to demonstrate the commerciality of the processes used in Petroteq's closed loop system for use in the recovery of oil from oil sands (the "Oil Sands Technology").
As announced on 2 December 2020 the work to upgrade the capacity and improve the reliability of the POSP has been completed with all systems tested and operational resources delivered to the site. The full restart process, which was due to be completed this week, has suffered an interruption due to Covid-19 related restrictions placed on the mining permitting authority. As a result, the Mine Safety and Health Administration ("MSHA") operating plan won't be released before 21 December 2020, so Greenfield has now decided to delay the full restart of the POSP until 4 January 2021 to enable an efficient start up, avoiding the need for an almost immediate Christmas / New Year holiday period shut down.
It remains the intention that the POSP will be initially operated on a single day shift and, assuming no issues, it is planned that production will be ramped up later in January 2021. All other elements of the project remain as previously announced, including that oil samples produced by the POSP will be sent to the Quadrise test facility from the first days of production to enable them to undertake test work in the UK. Further sampling will also be undertaken to enable detailed testing of the oil and sands produced by the POSP. Additionally, and as previously announced, the third-party engineering analysis of the Oil Sands Technology is expected to commence in January 2021, alongside the continuation of the FEED study. The FEED is expected to be completed by the end of February 2021.
Commenting, John Potter, CEO of TomCo, said : "After achieving so much on the project this year, it is unfortunate that the impact of Covid-19 has caused disruption to our plans for the POSP at this late stage, but everything is in place for the full restart at the beginning of January and we look forward to reporting on our progress in the New Year."