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- Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui"), announced that Mitsui, Oil Shale Exploration Company (OSEC) and Petrobras have agreed to jointly conduct the feasibility study in regard to the oil shale development project in Utah in the United States and entered into the agreement. Under this agreement, based on the result of the feasibility study and certain conditions, Mitsui obtained the right to acquire a 10 to 20% stake in the project from OSEC.
Oil shale is sedimentary rock which contains significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds), from which one can extract liquid hydrocarbons. After mining from under the ground, synthetic crude oil is derived by thermal decomposition (retorting) from oil shale ore. Global oil shale deposits are estimated as equivalent to more than 2 trillion barrels of oil including major deposits in the United States corresponding to 70% of global deposits. There are great hopes that oil shale, as a non-conventional oil resource, will contribute to global stable supply of energy. Today, production of synthetic crude oil from oil shale remains on a small scale in Brazil, China and a few other countries. Even in the United States, which boasts vast oil shale deposits, there is no project which has reached the commercial production stage in history, but recently oil shale development has gained attention as an energy resource as the price of conventional sources of petroleum has risen, and as a way to secure independence from external suppliers of energy.
In 2007, OSEC executed the lease of the White River Mine property in Utah with the U.S. federal government (Bureau of Land Management). The feasibility study will cover this property and some of the neighboring potential properties. In order to complete the feasibility study successfully, Mitsui provides advice concerning project management and promotion, and Petrobras makes full use of its experience and unique know-how for oil shale development and production accumulated over 30 years in Brazil. The estimated amount of oil shale resources in these properties is more than 3 to 4 billion barrels of oil. The parties expect that the project will commence commercial production around 2013 and expand its production capacity up to 50,000 barrels a day in stages.
Mitsui is aiming to develop potential energy resources including oil shale in order to contribute to the global stable supply of energy.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.