The substantial Holliday block oil resource was previously set for a ‘me too’ development, with technology being licensed from Red Leaf Resources – a firm that was pursuing a proof-of-concept project alongside Total - but that project stalled amid lower oil prices and rising development costs.
Since then, however, Tomco has been working to identify other viable means of recovering the oil contained within the shales in the Holliday block.
It has now announced plans to launch a new business unit, to be called TurboShale Inc, which aims to develop and commercialise new recovery technologies.
Extraction technologies involving methods like radio frequency heating, oxidation, high-voltage fracturing, and oil upgrading will be explored.
TurboShale will be led by an executive team including Ray Kasevich and Jeb Rong of Massachusetts-based JR Technologies, as well as Graeme Hossie of UK-based Venture Development Partners.
Tomco explained that a letter of intent setting out principal terms has now been signed with JR Technologies and VDP, and it is expected that a final framework deal with be in place soon.
“This is an extremely exciting time for TomCo and our new subsidiary TurboShale,” said Chris Brown, Tomco chief executive.
“We believe we have found a collection of technologies that can be competitive at current oil prices and address the problems of producing shale oil from kerogen.”
TurboShale is launching a funding to support the new initiatives, with a Series A equity placing set to raise US$1.5mln which would potentially followed by a further funding round in a year’s time after a phase of lab testing.
Tomco expects to retain 40% of TurboShale after the initial phase of funding.
Brown added: “While we continue to monitor the progress at RedLeaf, TurboShale allows TomCo to have greater control of its future development plans.”