Area Drilling

AustraliaGastar Exploration Ltd., Mount Pleasant, Mich., and an undisclosed partner bid successfully for 7 onshore coalbed methane exploration licenses totaling 2 million acres in the Gippsland basin in Victoria State. Pilot drilling could start later this year.Gastar, which already held 2 million acre PEL 238 in New South Wales, said its project area in the Latrobe Valley covers almost all of the 20% of the basin located onshore.No organized attempt has been made to produce gas from the Gippsland coals, but oil and gas wells have encountered gas in the seams. The basin's Tertiary-age coals have total thicknessess of as much as 1,000 ft at 3,000 ft or shallower with individual seams s...

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