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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Company to drill for Tassie oil bonanza [20jan06]

The Mercury: Company to drill for Tassie oil bonanza [20jan06]

DRILLING for oil and gas 2km beneath Tasmania would begin this year, Great South Land Minerals said.

Empire Energy and its subsidiary Great South said yesterday they had joined with a UK exploration company for the drilling program south-east of Launceston.

The company has an exploration licence for more than 15,000 sq km in Tasmania.

At least four oil wells would be drilled over the next four years, Empire Energy chairman Keith Lang said.

The wells would be drilled in the Northern Midlands, south-south-east of Launceston.

Mr Laing said UK explorer MR Associates would drill, and test over an 840 sq km inside the northern boundary of the licence area.

At the same time, seismic testing over about 1400km would take place.

"The seismic program and the joint venture exploration with MRA are the next key steps in our effort to define the oil and gas reserves in the Tasmania basin and we may also develop other strategic alliances to accelerate this activity," Mr Laing said.

He said subject to government permits, initial surveying would begin before the end of this month and a three-month seismic program would begin in March.

Great South has said for many years it believed in massive oil and gas reserves in Tasmania.

Mr Laing said he believed there were three billion barrels of oil in Tasmania.

"It's a resource as good as Bass Strait," he said.

Resources Minister Bryan Green said his office had received correspondence from GSLM seeking advice from Mineral Resources Tasmania and a meeting with him.

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