Empire Energy announced the mast and certain other components of the Hunt Energy rig #3 at the Bellevue #1 well site were moved to a holding yard in Launceston where work will be undertaken to "winterize" the rig to work in all conditions. Snow, frost and temperatures well below zero over the past few weeks (and forecast to continue over the next few months), could cause safety problems; with ice and snow falling from the mast and the constant wet starting to cause corrosion. This extreme weather is mainly due to the Bellevue #1 site being situated at a high elevation (1,070 meters above sea level) and the Tasmanian alpine winter (June-Aug.). Hunt Energy has advised that it is their intention to resume work at Bellevue #1 when further funding becomes available.
SEL 4/2009 and SEL 5/2009 Applications
Empire Energy advised that Tasmanian Minister for Energy and Resources declined to approve the applications for special exploration licenses SEL 4/2009 and SEL 5/2009 applied for on April 20, 2009 by Empire. The reason given in the Minister's letter was that "the applications do not include sufficient information to satisfy me that EECI is likely to have sufficient financial resources to carry out the proposed work program, following the company's statement in the SEC Filings for EEGC.OB Form 10-Q on May 20, 2009."
Empire refutes this statement and has sought a review of this decision from the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, Infrastructure and Resources on the grounds that information drawn from the 10-Q was misinterpreted and future commercial dealings were not taken into account in the consideration. In response to the Minister's letter, Empire has also submitted two new applications on June 18, 2009, for the special exploration license areas covered by SEL 4/2009 and SEL 5/2009, highlighting the financial and technical capacity of Empire Energy to carry out the proposed exploration programs and removing Geominex Resources as a joint venture partner.
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