TomCo Energy confirms delay to Greenfield Energy project
US-focussed oil development company TomCo Energy updated the market on its Greenfield Energy 50-50 joint venture with Valkor on Thursday, and the upgrades being undertaken by Greenfield to Petroteq Energy’s existing oil sands plant at Asphalt Ridge in Utah.
The AIM-traded firm said the upgrades were taking place under the work order to seek to demonstrate the commerciality of the processes used in Petroteq's closed-loop system for the recovery of oil from oil sands.
As it had announced on 2 December, TomCo said the work to upgrade the capacity and improve the reliability of the Petroteq oil sand plant had 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, had suffered an interruption due to Covid-19-related restrictions placed on the mining permitting authority.
As a result, TomCo said the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operating plan would not be released before 21 December, so Greenfield had now decided to delay the full restart of the oil sands project until 4 January.
It said that would enable an “efficient” start-up, avoiding the need for an almost immediate Christmas and New Year holiday period shut down.
It said it still intended that the oil sands project would be initially operated on a single day shift and, assuming no issues, it was planned that production would be ramped up later in January.
All other elements of the project remained as previously announced, including that oil samples produced by the project would 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 would also be undertaken to enable detailed testing of the oil and sands produced by the project.
Additionally, and as it had previously announced, the company said the third-party engineering analysis of the oil sands technology was expected to begin in January, alongside the continuation of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study.
That study was expected to be completed by the end of February.
“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 Petroteq oil sands project 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,” said chief executive officer John Potter.
At 1038 GMT, shares in TomCo Energy were down 2.3% at 0.42p.