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Positive results for South African coal bed methane project

World Coal,

Sunbird Energy has received independent certification that the company’s Mopane coal bed methane (CBM) project in South Africa has the potential for large scale CBM development.

The Southern African gas explorer and developer has announced the independent assessment undertaken by MHA Petroleum Consultants LLC indicates that the Mopane CBM project has a contingent resource of 644 billion ft3 of gas.

In estimating the contingent resources, MHA reviewed data taken from Sunbird’s initial drilling campaign on the east of the Mopane license. The initial area covers approximately 124 km2, less than 10% of the total 1577 km2 license area.

Managing director of Sunbird Energy, Will Barker, said: “The booking of our maiden contingent resource for the Mopane project is an important milestone in progressing the development of our CBM portfolio towards supply of gas and power to the high value South African energy market.”

“Mopane has the potential for a large scale power project,” Barker said. “Independent verification of the recoverable gas volumes provides Sunbird with the confidence to move forward with our partners into pilot production testing in 2014.”

The Mopane CBM project is located in the Limpopo province of South Africa, 420 km northeast of Johannesburg. The project is traversed by major electricity transmission lines that form part of the Southern African Power Pool. The project also has good links and close proximity to local mining and mineral processing facilities.

Sunbird holds 74% of the interest in the Mopane project, with Umbono Capital Partners holding the remaining 26%.

Corehole drilling is set to continue at the project, as both Sunbird and Umbono look to expand the resource base. The pilot production programme planned for 2014 aims to determine gas flow rates and prove the commercial viability of the project. Sunbird will then look to book gas reserves and accelerate the opportunity for development of power generation at Mopane for supply into the national power network.

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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