Baraka Energy & Resources (ASX: BKP) assets in the Southern Georgina Basin, Northern Territory, have received a vote of confidence after joint venture partner Petrofrontier Corp (TSX-V: PFC) picked up two additional permits.
Petrofrontier was awarded the two exploration permit applications covering 3800 square kilometres in the western part of the Southern Georgina Basin, extending its acreage closer to existing rail, road and pipeline infrastructure.
EPA 213 and EPA 252 are subject to the negotiation of surface access agreements with the Aboriginal stakeholders in the area and bring the total gross acreage between Baraka and PetroFrontier to about 14.5 million acres (58,679 square kilometres).
Baraka said its Canadian partner had obviously been so impressed by the results thus far on
Baldwin-2H and MacIntyre-2, that they made a land grab on the west side of EP 127 and EP 128 in the belief the "hot shale" trend extends through its acreage.
It added that Petrofrontier farm out of its Southern Georgina Basin assets was likely to be extended beyond the 29 March 2012 deadline due to strong interest.
Baraka has a free carried 25% working interest up to completion of a minimum of 500 metres of horizontal drilling into the Basel Arthur Creek Shale on either EP 127 or EP 128.
As a result, the company is not participating in the farm out process as it can meet any and all cost commitments for its 25% participating interest in the joint venture.
Meanwhile, drilling of the horizontal sections for MacIntyre-2H and the Owen-3 high angle pilot well has been pushed back to late April due to bad weather in the Cooper Basin where Ensign Australia's Rig 918 is currently located.
The rig was originally expected to mobilise to the Southern Georgina in mid to late March where its greater hook load and pump capacity compared to the previous rig were expected to improve tripping times and reduce overall costs.
Further delays may be possible if current rain persists in the Cooper Basin.