Repost from the Financial Post
Utah set to be home of first oilsands mine project in U.S. by end of 2015By Geoffrey Morgan | July 21, 2015 6:12 PM ET
CALGARY – Despite fierce opposition from American environmental groups, the first commercial oilsands mine in the United States is just months away from starting up after receiving final regulatory approvals from officials in Utah late last week.
“We’ll be in production later in the fall with commercial production before the end of the year,” U.S. Oil Sands Inc. chief executive Cameron Todd said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Calgary-based U.S. Oil Sands is working through the summer to complete a 2,000-barrel-per-day oilsands mine in eastern Utah, which would make it the first commercial oilsands mine in the United States when it begins producing later this year.
Todd noted that oilsands deposits have been used in the U.S. in the past, including in the construction of the first roads in Utah, but have never been mined on a commercial scale. The Uinta basin in the northeastern and central southeastern of the state has more than 50 identified oil sands deposits, with an estimated total of 20 to 32 billion barrels of oil in place.
Late on Friday afternoon, the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil, Gas and Mining announced approvals for an amendment to US Oil Sands’ mine, which is currently under construction about 200 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
The decision, released after a public hearing on the mine, requires U.S. Oil Sands to conduct water monitoring and submit a monitoring plan for the project by Nov. 1, and the company has indicated that it will comply with those regulations.
Officials from the Utah division of oil, gas and mining did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.