ALTON - Oil exploration at a second drill site in Alton is expected to get under way this week now that weight restrictions have been lifted on area roads.
Forent Energy president Tom Lester announced on Monday that the drilling rig used at its first well is being moved to the second site, about 17 kilometres east of the Alton No. 1 well.
The second site is located on a "separate, highly prospective geophysical anomaly, identified on both 2D seismic and Forent's gravity gradiometry survey," he said.
The company expects drilling to begin later this week and will take about two weeks to be completed.
Forent Energy announced in early March that it had discovered the presence of hydrocarbons, both natural gas and liquids, and potentially crude oil as well at the first site.
Although the test well did not produce evidence of enough of either substance to make it a commercially viable site in that particular bore, Lester said at the time that he remained confident that the area will eventually produce commercial quantities.
He said the company's evidence shows there are 10 to 12 underground reefs in the area, which are millions of years old, and which he believes do contain commercially viable and obtainable levels of petroleum substances.
"It's extremely encouraging," he said at the time.