Tasmanian Independent Makes Huge Oil Discovery

Tasmanian oil and gas exploration company Great South Land Minerals Limited announced independent test results from its Hunterston #1 well near Bothwell in the central highlands.

At the same time a preliminary report from a $700,000 study by the University of Tasmania's School of Earth Sciences, funded by the Federal Government and GSLM, has revealed that 4.9 billion barrels of oil reserves is located in the onshore Tasmania basin, worth around $250 billion at today's prices.

GSLM Chairman Malcolm Bendall said the company had received geochemical results from the Hunterston #1 well indicating the generation of oil and gas in the area. Mr. Bendall said the drilling had shown hydrocarbon and helium gas in the well. He said the scientific analysis validated previous estimates and the results from the well placed the entire central plateau in an oil & gas prospecting window. The test results, supported by the University study, show that oil was generated and is present in Tasmanian rocks. Three core samples were sent from the Hunterston well for analysis and the laboratory reported three oils of similar maturity. Their aromatic hydrocarbon indicate that they were generated and expulsed from source rocks with equivalent Vitrinite Reflectance values of 0.85 – 0.92%.

"Further testing is planned and a lot of work remains to get oil to the surface, but the news is very encouraging. It strongly supports our long-held belief of the potential for a commercial onshore oil and gas development for Tasmania. "GSLM is extremely excited by the discovery of potentially commercial concentrations of oil and gas and we are pressing ahead with further evaluation of a reservoir horizon encountered while coring the Hunterston well.

Mr. Bendall said Primeline, a UK based oil and gas exploration company, had confirmed their intention to farm into a portion of the tenement by spending $3.5 million drilling a two to three kilometer deep well near Epping Forest at the northern end of the basin. GSLM owns the largest onshore petroleum license in Australia, comprised of 30,356 square kilometers, covering the entire Tasmanian Basin.