More than half of the total United States' bitumen resource is located in the State of Utah, totaling over 30 billion barrels of oil in place. Utah has both the largest number of oil sands occurrences and the largest individual deposits in the United States. The deposits are primarily located in two areas of Utah: the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah and central southeastern Utah. Within these areas, there are more than 50 identified oil sands deposits, which contain an estimated total of 20 to 32 billion barrels of oil in place.
The Uinta Basin formed during the Early Tertiary when tectonic events resulted in dramatic topographic elevation of surrounding highlands. The basin is flanked by the Uinta Mountains to the north, Douglas Creek Arch along its eastern margin, the Uncompahgre Plateau to the southeast, the San Rafael Swell to the southwest and the Wasatch Plateau to the west.
Contemporaneous with the Uinta Basin, the Piceance Creek Basin, rich in oil shale deposits, formed in northwestern Colorado. Sediments eroding from surrounding highlands flowed into the Lake Uinta basin, forming a thick sequence of organic-rich shale, limestone, and sandstone, providing all the elements necessary for the formation of the Basin's rich hydrocarbon resources, including the oil shale and oil sand present today in the southern part of the basin.
US OIL and the Comunnity
As part of its development, US Oil Sands has leased land in the PR Spring Designated Tar Sand Area of the Uinta Basin from the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). Since 2005, US Oil Sands has been active in Utah delineating the bitumen resources on its leases, developing its process and permitting the PR Spring Mine. The Company has made nine years of advance royalty payments to SITLA to maintain its leases and in doing so has supported public education within the State.