European Gas lands another French permit

AUSTRALIAN-listed coal seam methane explorer, European Gas, has been awarded exploration rights to all hydrocarbons in the 3740 square kilometre Lons Le Saunier permit in central France.

The company's initial work program in the second half of this year will consist of data assembly and analysis to establish sites for coalbed methane stratigraphic core drilling that will help it to gain accurate information about the coal potential.

EGL added there was extensive seismic coverage across the Jura Basin and it will put a recovery program in place to review and possibly reprocess the bands. Stratigraphic well logs and reports will also be re-analysed.

French state-owned coal company Charbonnages de France (CdF) had previously completed 29 wells for about 31,000m of coal exploration drilling near the town of Lons le Saunier.

While the lateral extent of the coal measures is undefined, an oil exploration well at Bresse, 70km to the southwest, intersected what is believed to be the southern extension of the coal measures.

The maximum net coal thickness at Lons le Saunier is about 29.1m while at Bresse, a net coal thickness of 15m has been intersected. To the north, the coal measures extent has not been defined, however the basin boundary is roughly 20km north from Lons le Saunier.

While the coal measures were never mined, CdF noted problems associated with potential mining subsidence and the gassy nature of the coals contributed to the decision not to mine the area.

EGL said the coal seams in the permit area, located at moderate depth, show strong potential for CBM development.

The permit also contains several conventional gas fields, the largest about 30km northeast of Lons le Saunier.

Five wells were completed at Valempoulières with the Valempoulières-3 well producing 2.96 billion cubic feet with initial production of 3.5 million cubic feet per day.

The area is considered highly prospective for further discoveries with little exploration work since the initial discovery in 1961.

Oil has also been discovered in the permit, with a well drilled in 1943 intersecting oil in the Lettenkohle and Muschelkalk sediments.

More oil was found by the CdF stratigraphic well Briod 1 in 1954-55 when formation testing produced 270 barrels of oil. Another appraisal well was completed in 1982 which produced 359 barrels of oil under test.


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