- Company announces change in top leadership as it prepares to begin production this year
- North American, Asian Pacific asphalt consumption forecast anticipates expansion
- Petroteq Energy’s extraction lease in Utah expected to generate 87 million barrels of bitumen-rich oil
Utah’s northeastern desert wilderness features a variety of colorful geographic names, such as Whiterocks, Green River, Rainbow, Bluebell, Red Canyon and Flaming Gorge. In the midst of them sits the less-aesthetic-sounding Asphalt Ridge, which nonetheless has served for decades as a critical natural resource for surrounding communities that relied on its bituminous pitch to supply the local county with materials for asphalt road repairs. Now, companies such as Petroteq Energy Inc. (TSX.V: PQE) (OTCQX: PQEFF) are exploring its potential for supplying that bitumen to a larger world market in a pioneering, land-friendly way.
Petroteq Energy recently announced the appointment of David Sealock as the company’s new CEO (http://ibn.fm/iTYKd) to direct Petroteq’s efforts to capitalize on its two patents for extracting the bitumen from oil sands, using solvents in a way that avoids producing waste materials while utilizing energy in a highly efficient manner. On January 10, the Canadian company announced that it had been granted a Notice of Allowance by the U.S. Patent Office for its ‘Oil from Oil Sands Extraction Process’ patent (http://ibn.fm/bcoPh) and it had similarly received a Notice of Allowance from Canada’s Intellectual Property Office for an extraction process patent there. Petroteq has applied for patent protection in all countries with significant heavy oil assets, including Russia.
“As a company focused on the development and implementation of proprietary technologies for the environmentally safe extraction of heavy oils, we understand the importance of developing new technologies … to help companies in our industry to get competitive advantage and cost efficiency,” former Petroteq CEO Alex Blyumkin stated in a November news release (http://ibn.fm/aumuR).
The company’s extraction process uses no water, high temperatures or high pressures and produces no greenhouse gases. Up to 99 percent of all bitumen, heavy oil and lighter hydrocarbons are extracted, and up to 99 percent of the benign extraction solvents are recycled so that they can be sold or returned to the extraction point, according to the company (http://ibn.fm/dEfLF). Even before the patents were granted, Petroteq had tested its technical abilities at a separate Utah facility where it produced 10,000 barrels of oil in 2015.
The company is building a facility at its Asphalt Ridge lease site that it expects to increase its capacity by some 400 percent. A detailed study of the region’s mineral resources (http://ibn.fm/pchua) coinciding with plans by the federal government to turn management of the land over to the state of Utah in 1964 found that an estimated 697 million barrels of oil were located on about 5,200 acres with about 350 million barrels of recoverable surface reserves, and the study’s author noted that additional concealed saturated sand may be found by drilling in the region, and “inclusion of these lenses might double the total reserve figure given above.”
Petroteq estimates that its leased resources contain 87 million barrels that it will extract over the next two to three decades. The company is expected to begin commercial production this year, with a goal of 5,000 barrels of oil per day by 2019.
A forecast by the Freedonia Group researchers issued in 2015 anticipated that world consumption of asphalt bitumen would expand through 2019, particularly as strong growth in China and India continues to drive the Asia-Pacific region to levels exceeding those of the United States (http://ibn.fm/r3mp0). An expected rebound in the North American consumer market coinciding with the need to maintain the massive network of roads and highways crisscrossing the United States and its neighbors is expected to drive fresh demand, with an estimated three percent yearly increase through 2021, according to a similar report issued by the group last year (http://ibn.fm/b203m).
“We are on the verge of beginning our production phase at Asphalt Ridge,” Blyumkin stated in early March (http://ibn.fm/Xfzl4). “We completed reassembly and testing of the major process systems successfully and are in the final stages of pre-production testing of the utility system, bringing us one step closer to commercial launch at a time when demand for our products is on the rise.”
Blyumkin will continue to serve as the chairman of Petroteq’s board of directors as David Sealock assumes leadership of the company, according to the company’s March 27 announcement (http://ibn.fm/Kfs2d).
“We believe David’s aptitude and capabilities will allow us to take Petroteq to the next level as we make significant progress in our Utah facilities and also move forward on building our PetroBloq (logistics blockchain) consortium. He is a well-rounded leader that has been known for initiating innovative technologies for cost efficiencies. … He is an executive that understands the depths of corporate governance and the regulatory policies and procedures in running a publicly traded company,” Blyumkin stated.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Petroteq.energy
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