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MINING.

SEARCH FOR OIL. FRENEY KIMBERLEY COMPANY. . Interesting Developments.

At -a. meetinR of the director? o£ :. the Freney Kiinberley Oil Co.,Xitd.,'held: on Friday,' matters of considerable interest were- dealt with. ? A .telegram wa's re

ceived from Mr. Talbot stating that on resumption of work, on March 24, jt .was found that the top plug used in the cementing operations was about 200 feet above the oottom of the bore holeJ The driller (Mr. Fox), thought that it 'had risen as is a common occur rence. Owing, to cement being met after the phif? was drilled out, it was possible that the greater bulk of the cement was inside the casing, but until the cement was drilled out. twhich would take about fourteen days, it was hot- possible to say whether- sufficient cement has passed behind , the casing to shut off the water, . completely. Further cement will, be on hand to com plete the work in the vent of 'the opera tion not being entirely satisfactory. The board has instructed Mr. Talbot to pro ceed immediately ' with the drilling out of the cement, and, if necessary, to re peat operations. . . ? . ? : Mr.-Talbot reported that on March 5, he arid Mr. Eox, accompanied by Mr: Millard, : manager of Gogo Station, in spected a bore put down by the station authorities about six miles from Mt. Pierre. It was ? 1,070 feet deep and a small supply .of water filled the bore to within about 200 feet of the surface. Mr. Talbot : stated :— 'The drilling cable had been removed from the plant owing to a breakdown, and I was informed that no drilling had been done for two days. When we arrived at -the . bore, I 'first put 'a bag over the casing -head, and later applied a match but could see 'no flame. I 'then, dropped a lighted wax match down the bore, and a . succession of loud and sharp explosion followed. About half an' hour later. 1 dropped a live coal 'down the bore, ami what may. be-': likened to a puif of air canie upythe .;jqasing.\-i'A. Jiftle'. later' the b'ailerv wars' putton- andcrurutp^the bottom twice, and then another, coal was droppou in.'.'- when' another puff came iin. The bore was' then 'allowed to stand forabom two hours, wlien another live coal was dropped into 'the- hole! ' The; coal- bit the water without giving any indication of the presence of' gas.. ' The driller (Mr. Furlong) told me that a few- weeks ago his. assistant was on night, shift, when, he was startled by a yeryjloud -.explosion down the bore, which natives; camped 200 yards away, heard, distinctly. It was thought that the casing had parted, but after testing everything was found' to be intact. A few nights'' later, Mr. Furlong was on night shift, and after' lighting his pipe, he /threw the -match, into the bore. - A ? severe explosion followed- and a pale 'blue flame came' out of the' bore immediately afterwards.- -Again, later. ' a bit 'was being dressed at the forge near the bore, when a piece of red-hot' steel, knocked off- the bit, dropped into the hole.. A very -loud explosion and a jet', of ; flame from the bore immediately fol lowed. ' Mr. Millard visited the bore some days ago and her verified the fact that an explosion 'occurs when a light. . is dropped down the bore. Mr. Furlong told me that he has no idea when the gas first came into -the bore. He took over the drilling when the bore vr-- ' down about 500 feet. The gas may have been present then, but he would sot have known of it had not. the friction of .a frayed rope caused a' spark that ignited the gas. Owing, to caving ground, . the casing in close to bottom, so wherever the gas comes from, it must be brought down by the small supply of water that comes from about 200 feet from the surface.'

Though . the discovery is very interest ing, the opinion is held that the ? indi cations' do not justify the expenditure which would be involved in searching for oil in this locality, Mr. Talbot being of opinion that the formation at the bot tom of the'-' bore was- of Devonian age, as . rocks of that age occur in the vicinity, of Mt. Pierre. Mr. Talbot contended that the discovery bears out the opinions of- geologists that oil that may be found in suitable- structures in the younger carboniferous formations, was originally formed in formations which underlie the upper or sandstone series of ? the carboniferpus. A further ^ report together with specimens ,aud the forma tions will be obtained . at- a later date, and submitted to Dr Wade and the Commonwealth authorities for their opin ions. Although' gas has been markedly notice able in the boring operations at Poole Ranee, ^nothing approaching this scale had hitherto been met with on the Kim berley field, and the ^directors attach con siderable importance^ to' -these develop ments, although the-W bore put down on Gpgo Station' is in no way part of the company's' operations. . . ? .

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