The US government's Committee on Foreign Investment gave Eesti Energia the green light to acquire Oil Shale Exploration Company (based in Alabama), which held the biggest and most complex private oil shale reserves in the state of Utah.
"We want to welcome [Eesti Energia] to Utah," said Governor Gary R. Herbert. "Oil shale has the potential to be one of our nation’s greatest untapped natural resources, and the Uintah Basin here in Utah has potentially millions of barrels of recoverable oil. In Enefit, we have a company which has the technology, commitment, history, and financing to try and bring that oil shale to market."
It will take Eesti Energia, known abroad as Enefit, seven to eight years to finish constructing the oil shale plant, which could produce 57,000 barrels of oil per day and has a total estimated reserve of 2.1 billion barrels, according to Eesti Energia. To do this, the company will need to find investors and modify its cutting-edge technology to fit the rock composition of Utah's local oil shale. The nationally owned company plans to hire Estonian experts and businesses for the project.
With 30 years of experience in the oil shale business, Eesti Energia currently mines 15 to 17 million tons and produces 1.3 million barrels of shale oil annually.