The state of Utah is known to have total resource estimates ranging from 23 to 32 billion barrels of oil-in-place (“OIP”).* (OIP represents undeveloped oil sand resources, and are not estimates of resources or recoverable resources.) In fact, Utah contains approximately 55% of the nation’s total deposits. These oil sands are classed as “oil-wet” deposits and consist of a mixture of sand and a dense, extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen or tar. Moreover, the bitumen in Utah is somewhat unique in that it contains less than 0.5% sulfur.
*Source: “A Technical, Economic, and Legal Assessment of North American Oil Shale, Oil Sands, and Heavy Oil Resources In Response to Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 369(p)” (September 2007), prepared by the Utah Heavy Oil Program, Institute For Clean and Secure Energy and The University of Utah for the U.S. Department of Energy (the “2007 Report”), citing estimates based upon source material published in 1979, 1987 and 1993.