Hunt Rig Moves to Tasmania Well Site, Readies for Drilling Operations

Empire has announced the drilling rig is on the Bellevue-1 well site and preparing for drilling.

The Hunt oil and gas drilling rig #3 has now been moved to the Bellevue #1 well site. The mast is intended to be raised today with the assistance of two large cranes. Inspection is expected to take one week and drilling is expected to begin immediately thereafter. The company is holding open public viewing of the well site and set up of the drilling equipment on the Bellevue site on December 12-13, 2008.

The company also reminds all shareholders and interested parties of the Record Date for the previously announced Rights issue of December 18, 2008. The company is issuing to all shareholders a right to buy one share of Empire common stock for a price of $0.07 for each two shares they hold on that date. The shares acquired by participating in this rights offering will be fully registered/free trading shares. Shareholders have 30 days from the effective date of the registration statement to take advantage of these rights to buy shares at this price.

CEO, Malcolm Bendall stated, "We are pleased to be able to show the Tasmanian people the first oil and gas drilling rig set up on the island of Tasmania. We are looking forward to the imminent resumption of drilling and to reporting positive results of that drilling. I appreciate and want to thank our shareholders for their perseverance and patience. We have initiated the rights offering to allow current shareholders to benefit from the current depressed share market prices."