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Linc Energy Acquires Wyoming Coal Assets for Underground Gasification and Gas-to-Liquids

Australia-based Linc Energy Limited has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a 100% interest in 92,059 acres of coal tenement lease areas in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming USA from GasTech Inc, a company based in Casper Wyoming. Immediately after settlement, Linc Energy will commence the permit and approval process required in order to undertake an underground coal gasification (UCG) pilot program to produce syngas, which it has committed to completing within 24 months of the acquisition.

Linc Energy will establish an office in Wyoming to ensure completion of an underground coal gasification (UCG) pilot program and to support its planned commercialization of UCG to Gas to Liquid (GTL) in the USA.

The 92,059 acres being acquired have a coal deposit exploration target range of 7 to 8 billion metric tonnes (non-JORC Code standard) based on existing drilling data.

The Powder River Basin is the largest coal producing region in the United States with current production from surface mines representing over 45% of the total US production. The area being acquired by Linc Energy contains multiple subbituminous coal seams ranging from 6 to 15 metres thick and occurring at depths in excess of 150 metres, making them excellent targets for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) operations.

Linc Energy has agreed to pay US$5 million for the purchase of the GasTech coal tenements. This agreement follows the Letter of Intent between Linc Energy and GasTech which was announced on 3 December 2008 and completes the first phase of the proposed GasTech purchase, with the remaining area subject to a further transaction pending resolution of pre-emptive rights held by a major petroleum company.

The completion of the purchase of these coal areas from GasTech is an important step forward in Linc Energy’s international expansion program. Linc will now have access to several billion tonnes of coal in the state of Wyoming, one of America’s key energy producing areas, which will allow the Company to move quickly to commercialization of UCG to produce GTL fuels like ultra clean diesel and Jet A1.

—Peter Bond, Linc Energy’s Chief Executive Officer

In October 2008, Linc Energy successfully produced the first hydrocarbon liquids from its Chinchilla demonstration facility which introduces underground coal gasification (UCG) synthesis gas into a Fischer-Tropsch reactor that produces high quality synthetic fuel. (Earlier post.)



Since they don't mention explicitly any form of CO2 sequestration, they will probably just vent the massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Secondly, there are many coal mines in the world burning for decades already, and nobody knows how to stop it. This is an extremely big experiment - 8000000000 tons of coal !

Nobody would even consider geological carbon sequestration at a depth of 150m. You can be very sure that much of the produced gasses will escape relatively soon into the atmosphere, while the 'production gas' consists largely of CO2 that is vented directly.
At least the nuclear industry knows exactly what to do with their waste for the next hundred years. The coal industry still doesn't even bother.


This may be one of those be careful what you wish for issues. We do not want mountain tops blown off and river valleys filled with rubble to get coal. So now they propose setting fire to it under ground to make it so much easier.

Just leave the fossil fuel in the ground as an insurance policy and let's get on with renewable energy in a huge and massive way. Let's not be so afraid that we might make a mistake and put money into something that may not work. Let's grow a set and chart our future to a better alternative to the dirty fuels world of the past.


Actually they claim extra CO2 is kept within the coal seam and that once refining emission are taken into account, their wheel to wheel CO2 footprint is 5% better than regular petroleam.

Their current technology converts converts about 1 tonne of coal in place to 1 barrel of liquid fuels. At $5 million that has to be about the cheapest 5 billion barrel oil field anywhere.

I guess that shows the level of discount from very small scale pilot to commercial operations.

ie They still have a lot to prove.

I remain very, very ambivalent about Linc. On the one hand if Peak Oil hits a in a big way in hurry and mitigation doesn't work it would be great to have this "our back pockets".

On the other hand having a new and extremely abundant source of fossil fuels will make it awfully tempting to ignore the cost of developing true alternatives with genuine low CO2 emissions.

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