Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Mitsui & Co. and Oil Shale Exploration Co. may produce shale oil in Utah for $45 to $50 a barrel as early as 2013, said Demarco Epifanio, the Petrobras executive responsible for the project.
A viability study for the project will take a year and, if positive, the companies will build a shale-oil plant in Utah in 2010 and start production between 2013 and 2015, Epifanio said Wednesday in an interview.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company known as Petrobras, which has been producing oil from shale in the Brazilian state of Parana for 30 years, has been seeking partners to expand the use of its technology, Epifanio said. Daily production at the site is expected to be about 50,000 barrels a day.
Petrobras, Mitsui and Oil Shale Exploration Co. signed an agreement Monday to study the extraction of oil from shale deposits in Utah. Privately held OSEC needs partners to provide the systems needed to bring the shale up from underground mines and extract the oil, estimated to be about 25 barrels a ton, from the rock.