Estonian oil shale producers want to move to the next stage and produce petrol, with Eesti Energia already drawing up a tender for the design of equipment, while Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) is waiting for crude oil prices to increase.
Production of oil shale, from shale oil rock, lets out gas, which Eesti Energia currently uses for electricity production, but that gas can be used to make shale oil petrol, which in turn can be refined to make fuel for vehicles, Eesti Energia board member Margus Vals told ERR radio.
Vals said analysis by his company show that producing liquid fuels would add value to shale oil gas. He said the company has not given up on the idea of building its own refinery, but it will focus on producing liquid fuels from shale oil gas for the time being. Eesti Energia said it will make a decision on any investments in about a year.
VKG currently uses gas left over from oil shale production for heating, but the company also aims to produce petrol. VKG board member Jaanus Purga said producing liquid fuel is the way to go. He said the first tests have already been made by the company and the results are encouraging.
“We would build the necessary equipment either this or the next year at our Petroter plants, if the economic situation were a little better,” Purga said, adding that the company has postponed or stopped investments in the field due to low petrol prices.
Purga said the two companies, VKG and Eesti Energia, should cooperate in viability studies and designing machinery, “In conclusion, we are solving the same problem in two different places in tiny Estonia, and this would be a stupid waste of money,” he added.
Vals said he would not rule out cooperation.
Editor: J.M. Laats