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Image courtesy of Empire Oil and Gas/Youtube.

Empire Oil & Gas finalized a drilling contract Thursday with Australia-based drilling contractor Enerdrill to drill up to five wells in Western Australia’s Perth Basin.

The deal puts Australia-based Empire on track to spud the Red Gully North well in the Perth Basin in the December quarter of this year.

The contract also gives Empire an option to drill up to an additional four wells in 2016 as part of its strategy to explore its extensive Perth Basin acreage.

Enerdrill recently drilled the successful Waitsia well for Australia-based AWE.

“The Red Gully North well is a substantial target with potential recoverable reserves in excess of 10 petajoules,” Empire said.

If successful, the well would be tied in to the existing Red Gully production facility and could significantly increase the life and the production rates of the Red Gully project.

The contract also gives Empire the option to drill up to four wells elsewhere in its Perth Basin acreage.

In preparation for these wells, Empire will conduct a major airborne gradiometric survey across its acreage to generate leads and prospects.

The results of the program, expected to be undertaken in the June quarter of this year, will be used to secure farm-in partners and investors who will help fund the wells.

The Red Gully North well and the airborne gradiometric survey will be funded from the proceeds of a $15.7 million capital raising plan currently underway.