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Hardman on track for Rome

Perth-based hydrocarbon explor-er Hardman Resources NL is on track to develop its gas drilling project near Rome in Italy as the next stage of its exploration programme.

The company has been negotiating for a joint venture partner to share drilling expenses and equity in the Colombo-1 gas well, previously scheduled to spud this month.

A partner has been located and an agreement should be finalised very soon.

Once the farmout is completed Hardman will retain 45 per equity in the project.

Hardman managing director Ted Ellyard said there have been gas shows in the area of the drill site which is only about 2.5 kilometres from a gas-fired power station and gas pipeline.

“We are optimistic about the prospects for the well,” he said. “Being so close to the gas pipeline and power station makes it a viable project if gas is discovered.”

Colombo-1 will test a seismically-defined structure with potential to contain gas reserves of 35 billion cubic feet recoverable.

Recently the company consolidated its position offshore Mauritan-ia by acquiring three new production licences over blocks 1, 7 and 8.

These blocks straddle the current ground held by Hardman which are subject to farmin agreements with Woodside Petroleum Ltd and British Borneo.

Mr Ellyard said the new blocks cover an area of 34,000 square kilometres of hydrocarbon prospective ground. This increases the total area held by Hardman in the area to 74,000 sq km.

The two northern blocks are located over a major delta system of probable cretaceous age.

“Similar delta systems have produced large amounts of oil and gas in other parts of offshore West Africa,” Mr Ellyard said.

The equity arrangement for blocks 1,7 and 8 are Dana Petroleum (E&P) Limited (80 per cent), Hardman Petroleum (Mauritania) Pty Ltd (18 per cent) and Elixir Corporation Pty Ltd (2 per cent). Elixir belongs to a Perth-based geologist who worked in the region for some years.

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