Great Artesian Secures Rig for PEL 106 Drilling Program

Great Artesian Oil and Gas has secured a drilling rig for a program of up to five wells to test prospects in the Cooper Basin. The Ensign 30 rig will start drilling in September or early October.

This will be the first drilling campaign targeting prospects generated from the 500 sq km Spinel 3D seismic program in PEL 106, the largest recent onshore exploration 3D survey carried out in Australia. Great Artesian is interpreting the Spinel 3D seismic, together with reprocessed data from the Paranta 3D, Raven-Moanga 2D and the recently completed Ficus 2D seismic surveys as part of a major prospect inventory evaluation in PEL 106.

"We expect this analysis will add several new targets to the existing inventory, enabling us to extend the drilling program. This is likely to include the South East Raven feature, delineated by the Ficus seismic survey and close to the Raven Gas Field, a large field with very high flow rates," Great Artesian managing director Andy Carroll said.

Extending the Spinel 3D survey over the Raven field had given a clearer view of the type of structure to look for in the region that was likely to yield a large, prolific gas field, Mr Carroll said.

The first two wells of the new program on Great Artesian's PEL 106 tenements will be funded by Blue Energy, which recently announced it had finalised a $34.6 million capital raising. Under its farmin agreement, Blue Energy has options to drill four wells in the Spinel Block of PEL 106 prior to April 2008 to earn a 50% interest.

Drilling of some of the new prospects identified in seismic interpretation may be funded by third parties. Red Sky already has made a $1 million deposit on its farmin agreement, and may elect to participate in one or more of the wells in the coming drilling program. Blue Energy and Enterprise Energy will also be offered an opportunity to farmin under existing farmin agreements.


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