TomCo Energy plc (LON:TOM) chief executive John Potter described today’s news that the Greenfield Energy venture is advancing into Phase 1 as “an important milestone”.

On AIM, TomCo shares rose strongly on Tuesday as progress was reported in the Utah partnership.

It was announced that the partnership with Quadrise Fuels and the Greenfield venture, between TomCo and Valkor LLC, had entered into a commercial trial agreement for the Petroteq Oil Sands Plant (POSP) at the Asphalt Ridge Facility in Utah.

It will see proof of concept work to be undertaken at the Quadrise Research Facility using oil samples supplied by Greenfield.

Additionally, Quadrise will loan a range of MSAR equipment to Greenfield, along with specialist services to assist Greenfield in completing a proposed commercial-scale demonstration. The demo operation will aim to produce over 600 barrels (100 tonnes) of power grade MSAR fuel.

“The agreement represents an important milestone in the proposed upgrade and test programme to be undertaken at the POSP, as Greenfield seeks to complete its proof of concept work and commercial-scale demonstration trial later this year utilising the Quadrise MSAR technology to produce a premium, heavy fuel oil product suitable for retail sale,” John Potter said.

“These are exciting times for TomCo and I look forward to providing further updates in due course.”

In a statement earlier today, Quadrise said that it will continue to cooperate in good faith to agree the commercial terms of a conditional MSAR licence and commercial supply agreement for the production of MSAR fuel under Phase 2 – envisaged as a 10,000 barrels per day operation at Utah facilities owned or operated by Greenfield.

It is also now envisaged that such a licence, if awarded, would be provided directly to Greenfield.

In London, TomCo shares were changing hands at 0.8p marking a 10.9% gain for the session, after trading as high as 1.11p earlier in the day.