Utah oilsands project on track for year-end production

Construction underway at the PR Spring project in Utah. Image: US Oil Sands

US Oil Sands Inc. says with new financing in hand it expects to be producing bitumen from its Utah bitumen mining project by year-end.

"With the additional capital raised and full construction activities resumed, we are on track to complete the project by the end of the third quarter as mechanical construction is now nearly complete," said Cameron Todd, chief executive officer of US Oil Sands.

"Before year end, we expect to produce first oil at the project and we're confident that the demonstration of the company's commercial technology and resource potential will support US Oil Sands' expectation to emerge as an industry leader among the most efficient, lowest capital cost and most environmentally sustainable oilsands companies."

The second quarter for US Oil Sands was focused on closing its equity rights offering for gross proceeds of C$12.8 million and planning for and the resumption of full construction activities at the PR Spring Project.

Prior to the funding, the company had been running scaled-down construction activities with internal operations personnel focused on critical path items until completion of financing. It has since restarted full-scale construction activities. The project is nearing completion with remaining activities focused on piping, instrumentation and electrical installation.

The company also continued evaluating downstream markets for the PR Spring bitumen, including asphalt and alternative fuels, and continued to refine and optimize its shop demonstration unit at the Grande Prairie Technology Centre, including commissioning a solvent recovery unit.

Field assembly will continue for the remainder of the third quarter, followed by commissioning and commercial start-up in the final quarter of 2016.

Proving the commercial viability of the company's patented and unique technology is expected to open the opportunities for future developments in other oilsands areas outside of Utah, in addition to capacity expansion of Utah production, says the company.

Management also says it will continue to investigate and pursue business development opportunities for its technology, including opportunities to work with Athabasca oilsands developers to demonstrate the technology's favourable extraction outcomes.

US Oil Sands is engaged in the exploration and development of oilsands properties and, through its wholly owned United States subsidiary US Oil Sands (Utah) Inc., has a 100 per cent interest in bitumen leases covering 32,005 acres of land in Utah's Uinta Basin. It plans to develop its oilsands properties using its proprietary extraction process that uses a bio-solvent to extract bitumen from oilsands without the need for tailings ponds.