Gastar awarded coalbed methane licenses in Victoria, Australia

Gastar Exploration Ltd., Mount Pleasant, Mich., said it and a partner were winning bidders on seven coalbed methane licenses that comprise 60% of a 2 million acre coalbed methane property in the Gippsland basin, Victoria, Australia. Four of the licenses have been officially awarded to Gastar and its partner, and Gastar expects the remaining three to be awarded soon.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 30 -- Gastar Exploration Ltd., Mount Pleasant, Mich., said it and a partner were winning bidders on seven coalbed methane licenses that comprise 60% of a 2 million acre coalbed methane property in the Gippsland basin, Victoria, Australia.

Four of the licenses have been officially awarded to Gastar and its partner, and Gastar expects the remaining three to be awarded soon. The partner was not named, but Gastar said it owns a 75% stake in the licenses.

Gastar said its project area covers virtually all the 20% of the basin that is onshore. It said the basin contains brown coals, similar to coals in the Powder River basin of Wyoming and Montana in composition and age.

"While no data is currently available on coal gas content and permeability, gas has been measured in the coals during conventional oil and gas exploration. The basin has multiple coal sequences at depths of less than 3,000 ft with total coal thicknesses as great as 1,000 ft and with individual seams over several hundred feet thick," said Gastar.

Gastar is planning a pilot drilling program in the second half of 2001; it has already received a license for the program.

It noted natural gas pipelines cross the property.

The company also added that it has reworked three existing coalbed methane wells on its 2.2 million acre petroleum exploration license 238 in New South Wales, Australia. It said that if the wells could sustain volumes produced during short-term testing in the long term, the license could support commercial production. Short-term testing produced 500-800 Mcfd from single coal zones with water production rates of 200-350 b/d.

Gastar owns 100% of that license.

More in Companies