The drilling program is due to commence in late January/early February 2008, depending on rig availability.
The Managing Director of Essential Petroleum, John Remfry, said "this onshore drilling program is an exciting opportunity to pursue some near field exploration located near producing gas fields such as the McIntee, North Parratte and Iona fields."
"The key to commercial success in PEP 168 will be to minimize the finding costs and to lower operating costs. In the event of a successful gas discovery, production can be achieved within 6 to 12 months."
PEP168 is a highly prospective permit covering the onshore part of the Pecten High trend which hosts in excess of 400 bcf reported gas reserves in Waarre reservoir sands in the offshore Casino, Henry, Martha and Halladale fields.
Essential Petroleum owns 50% of PEP 168 and is operator for the joint venture. Inland Oil Production Pty Ltd owns the other 50%.
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