A tiny Canadian company announced Thursday it had raised enough money to start producing oil from Utah's tar sands for a first-of-its kind project in the U.S.

U.S. Oil Sands Inc. said it raised $11 million from a stock offering and will get started this summer on plans to dig a 62-acre pit in an area of eastern Utah that contains gooey bitumen, a tar-like form of petroleum.

Executives said they will produce 2,000 barrels of oil a day by next year, in the start of what could grow into a much larger operation. The Calgary, Alberta-based company holds leases on 32,000 acres of state trust lands in Utah's Uinta basin.

"We're going to build this project ourselves," Cameron Todd, the chief executive of U.S. Oil Sands, said Thursday. "We may take on a partner, but the technology is ours."

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