NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has signed an agreement to take an initial 10 percent interest in a project to evaluate coal seams in an area of Australia for potential natural gas production.
The agreement was announced Wednesday by Exxon's Esso Ventures Pty Ltd. and Ignite Energy Resources Ltd., which holds an exploration license on property in the Gippsland Basin of southeast Victoria.
During the next 12 to 18 months, Exxon Mobil and Ignite Energy will evaluate the potential for natural gas in deeper coal seams in the region and determine whether it could be produced commercially.
Esso Ventures is an affiliate of Exxon Mobil Australia Pty Ltd. Ignite Energy is based in Australia.
Shares of Exxon Mobil rose $2.60, or 3.4 percent, to $80.20 in afternoon trading.
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