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Indian-Texas JV raises $7.4 mn to explore oil

Written by: Staff
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Singapore, Jul 6: An Indian-Texas partnership in Australia has raised 7.4 million dollars through an initial public offer to explore oil and gas potentials in the US and Australia.

Melbourne's Austin Exploration Ltd, which is 21 per cent each owned by Texas-based oil and gas technologist, DMS Exploration Inc, and Bombay-listed tea, oil and gas group, Assam Company Ltd, has raised the money by offering 50 million 20 cent shares and allowed for over subscriptions of a further 2 million dollars.

''The strong IPO outcome is a pleasing result as it was both a large oil and gas float compared to recent raisings in the sector and was well supported, despite the offer period parallelling one of the most uncertain periods this year for resource-based equities,'' Austin Managing Director David Schuette said today.

Austin is expected to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on July 17 with 486 shareholders. The company will have 112 million ordinary shares and a range of A, B and C class options on issue and be valued at 22.4 million dollars.

''This message has clearly been digested and welcomed by investors at a time fluctuations in resources commodities generally, oil price uncertainty and political tension have unnerved equity markets - to a point longer term stability and opportunity has emerged as a key investment fundamental with the strongest appeal,'' Mr Schuette said.

The company has scheduled the drilling of four wells on its acreage in two states in the US, South Australia's Cooper Basin and Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide, during 2006-2007.

Austin's flagship exploration over the next 12 months will be the St Gabriel Prospect in Louisiana in the US, where up to 4.16 million dollars will be spent proving up a drill ready target.

St Gabriel comprises two untested fault blocks in favourable positions to trap hydrocarbons. The proposed first well will target a potential five million barrels of oil and 36 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas.

The second US well will be drilled in Texas.

In Australia, Austin will drill a well into the Tirrawarra Prospect in PEL 105 in the Cooper Basin area, targeting a stratigraphic play with an estimated recoverable potential of five million barrels of oil and 25 BCF of gas.

An oil target with a potential of 800 million barrels of recoverable oil will also be drilled into the Stansbury Basin under Austin's modern day exploration offensive to revisit the historic onshore petroleum areas in the southern portion of Yorke Peninsula.

In the longer term, Austin plans to acquire acreage in India under a Memorandum of Understanding with Asom to actively study opportunities in that country's oil and gas sector via the Indian Government's New Exploration Licence Policy (NELP VI).

DMS is an independent oil and gas operator based in Austin, Texas, with experience in the development of technology used by international oil and gas companies to interpret magnetic data.

Its exploration team is highly experienced in the technical and management skills needed to develop prospects, and initiating and completing mergers and acquisitions in the petroleum industry.

Assam Company Ltd is a 170 million dollars tea, oil and gas company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and now part of the UK's Duncan Macneill Group. It is involved in energy projects in northeast India.

The company's position involves a longer term role in gradual introduction of Austin into India's oil and gas sector.

UNI

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