Detour from Country road to CBM track

FORMER Country Road founder and managing director Peter Vial is joining new coalbed methane hopeful Purus Energy, which hopes to raise $9 million from its offer of 45 million shares at 20 cents each.
Detour from Country road to CBM track
Detour from Country road to CBM track
Detour from Country road to CBM track
Detour from Country road to CBM track
Detour from Country road to CBM track

Money raised will be used to fund Purus’ drilling activities on the six tenements it either holds or has applied for. Those tenements cover more than 10,000 square kilometres in the Otway Basin, close to the South East Australian pipeline.

Besides Vial, who is to be Purus’ non-executive chairman and who was also a founding shareholder and chairman of Bendigo Mining NL, the other directors are Richard Sandner (managing director), Roger Blake (operations director), Nathan Mitchell (non-executive director) and Douglas Derham (non-executive director).

Providing Purus’ offer is successful, much of its early work will be in Mitchell’s hands. He is also managing director of Mitchell Drilling, the drilling company preferred by Purus to carry out its drilling.

According to Purus’ prospectus, the consideration to be paid to Mitchell Drilling for its work has “been arrived at via arms length negotiations and Mitchell Drilling is not deriving any further financial benefit than would arise from totally independent pricing of the contracts for drilling services”.

Of the other directors: Sandner was also managing director of Bendigo Mining and Reef Mining; Blake was a founding shareholder and operations director of Essential Petroleum Resources; and Denham is an accountant who was also an executive director of Reef Mining and is currently a non-executive director of Penshurst Resources.

Purus has already spent about $2 million undertaking research and evaluation over 85 prior wells drilled in the area for oil, gas and water and analysing seismic surveys. That work has provided the company with the six targets it wants to pursue.

In the prospectus, Vial says the company has entered into discussions with natural gas wholesalers who have indicated they will buy gas if Purus can find commercial quantities.

The company has been granted exploration licences in relation to two tenements that together cover about 8800 square kilometres and has been given priority over four exploration licence applications covering about 1400 square kilometres.

Besides CBM, the company will also be looking for other non-metallic minerals.

According to the prospectus, Purus hopes to start trading its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange on September 14.

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