ERR News – Eesti Energia's Chairman of the Board, Sandor Liive, spoke on ETV defending the energy giant's Utah venture after attacks from opposition members of Parliament.
Liive said that Eesti Energia, or Enefit as it is known internationally, is on track in Utah and the project will take as long to complete as was first intended.
“We are preparing the necessary measures for environmental licenses, we are conducting geological studies, we have done the first tests on the oil shale [found in Utah], so in reality we are doing great,” added Liive.
Eesti Ekspress reported last week that the company is facing difficulties extracting oil from the local shale using Estonian technology.
Liive admitted that US oil shale is not like oil shale found in Estonia but explained that oil shale from one Estonian mine also differs from other mines in the country and Eesti Energia has and can adapt its technology.
Professor Ingo Valgma, the director of the Department of Mining at the Tallinn University of Technology, told ETV that the quality of Estonia's oil shale is the best in the world and that extracting oil from the Utah shale will be far harder.
He added that oil production is not a matter of five to six years, as Eesti Energia predicts, but more a question of decades.
“If you develop new techno-logy, you have to do a lot of work, not base decisions on a few tests,” added the professor.
According to Liive, the site should be ready by 2016 and oil can be sold from 2020.
The state will invest 200 million euros in Eesti Energia in 2013, while 65.5 million euros traveled the other way in 2012 as the state-owned energy giant paid out dividends.