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Image courtesy of Citypeek/Wikimedia Commons.

Australia-based Empire Energy confirmed the presence of shale reserves at the McArthur basin in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Imperial Oil & Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire, drilled four exploration core holes in the EP184 license in the St. Vidgeon region of the basin.

The program was undertaken to identify shale formations in the area and determine if those formations should be explored.

The core holes proved the presence of a “number of important intervals” of Palaeo-Proterozoic age organic carbon-rich shale.

The result confirms Imperial’s opinion that the license holds organic shales that potentially contain hydrocarbons.

“Core samples recovered during the drilling program contain encouraging evidence of possible asphaltic staining,” Empire said.

Empire will complete a detailed analysis of the core samples gathered during drilling.

A 3D model will be further developed as Empire moves forward with completing its work requirements for the permit.

The project initially suffered from delays as Empire negotiated with traditional landowners in the area.

EP184 covers 4,328 square miles in the petroleum prospective central trough of the McArthur basin, south of the Roper River.