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In Utah, scaled-down oil shale dreams still alive

BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune Cratering oil prices have slowed Utah’s oil-shale business, but the nascent commercial industry is still on its feet, moving forward on projects that proponents hope someday will unlock a vast trove of hydrocarbons embedded under the Uinta Basin. One of Utah’s four major players, Australia-based Ambre Energy, has bowed out, selling its 33,700 acres of state leases to Red Leaf Resources for $4…

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Symposium speaker: Oil shale not ‘environmental Armargeddon’

Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — A research chemist from Colorado and two technology management students from Singapore were involved in an intensive 10-week crash course this summer involving Utah’s vast oil shale resources. They set about to answer the question of whether those resources can be developed, should be developed, and if so, what hurdles would have to be overcome. The idea was to present a…

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Utah Cities Eye Power From Small Reactors

Judy Fahys – KUER A few Utah communities are exploring an energy future that includes nuclear power. The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, a co-op comprised of 45 cities and utility districts, is considering small modular reactors. The co-op’s been thinking about next-generation nuclear power for years, says UAMPS spokesman LaVarr Webb, because these 50-megawatt reactors promise safe, stable electricity that doesn’t pollute. “This would be sort of like a…

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Nuclear project considered by Utah city power agencies

JaNae Francis – Standard Examiner Northern Utah cities that run their own electric utilities are thinking about going nuclear. Bountiful, Kaysville, Morgan and Brigham City are considering participation in a nuclear energy project proposed to be built near Idaho Falls at the Idaho National Laboratory. The project would be a joint venture with other municipal power suppliers that are part of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. UAMPS is a consortium of 44…

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1st US tar sands mine set to open for business in Utah

Brady McCombs – The Salt Lake Tribune On a remote Utah ridge covered in sagebrush, pines and wild grasses, a Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum. The impending opening of the nation’s first tar sands mine has become another front in the battle across the West between preservationists…

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State approves tar sands mine, requires water monitoring

Brady McCombs – The Spectrum Utah state officials have given the go-ahead for a tar sands mine under construction the eastern flank of the state, but they will require the company to do water and air quality monitoring in a move environmentalists are calling a victory. Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining director John Baza said Monday that his decision addresses concerns raised by opposition while acknowledging that U.S….

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A cleaner way to get petroleum out of oil sands

Erik Sherman – CBS The secret to business is buy low and sell high. Canadian holding company MCW Energy Group hopes to do that by economically separating the petroleum from oil sands and then selling it at market rates of double to triple the processing costs. The company uses a patented closed-loop technology that treats the sands with a solvent that helps remove the oil. The oil and solvent are…

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Oil shale conditional use permit expanded

Mary Bernard – Vernal Express Red Leaf Resources commercial oil shale production is proceeding in the construction of its EcoShale In-Capsule container in southern Uintah County. On Monday, Oct. 20, the Uintah County Commission approved a request by Ames Construction to amend an existing Conditional Use Permit for a man camp to add five more modular units. “This particular group is doing construction for Red Leaf,” said Matt Cazier, Uintah…

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MCW demonstrates new technology in Uinta Basin

On Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, MCW Energy Group hosted a ribbon cutting on the newest Utah energy production site in Vernal, where the proprietary oil sands extraction technology was demonstrated. Touted as transformative, the patented process claims 99% closed-loop solvent recovery and zero water consumption, making it environmentally friendly, cost efficient and commercially viable. The ribbon-cutting event was attended by local dignitaries that included Vernal Mayor Norton and State Senator…

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Digging for oil? They’re trying it in the Basin

Richard Shaw – The Sun Advocate People drill for oil, but can they mine for it? The answer is yes as oil shale and tar sands development begin to take place in earnest just over the ridge Carbon County residents call the Book Cliffs. Red Leaf Resources is preparing to now go into full commercial development and production about 40 miles southwest of Vernal, and the process for getting the…

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