Strike Energy first registered Hybrid Energy Australia with ASIC as a business enterprise in 2003, and in 2006 obtained petroleum and mineral exploration licences over the lignite (coal) deposit adjacent to the northern edge of the Otway Basin.

This large JORC compliant lignite resource was comprehensively tested by Western Mining Corporation (WMC) during the early 1980s with the drilling of approximately 550 boreholes to confirm the size and quality of the resource. Following a decision by the South Australian Government to acquire its electricity from other sources, WMC subsequently shelved the project and eventually relinquished its interests in the exploration licences holding the deposit.

Nearly thirty years have now passed, and new technologies surrounding coal conversion to liquid fuels, power generation, groundwater management, and carbon capture and storage are now a reality. Hybrid Energy Australia is also responding to meet the predicted future short-fall of reliable power in South Australia, in addition to adding to the nation's supply of diesel.

The FuturGas Project is substantially different to the earlier proposed WMC development in the following respects:

  • smaller mining scale and reduced impact on the environment;
  • potential to produce multiple products, (eg liquid transport fuels and power); and
  • more environmentally acceptable operations (low-emission, a focus on groundwater management including aquifer reinjection technology, smaller footprint on the land).