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Oil & Gas Co. Gets Clearance for 200 Mcf/Day Natural Gas Plant
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Shares of Touchstone Exploration Inc. traded 16% higher after the company reported it received environmental approval for construction of a two hundred million cubic feet multi-well surface production facility in Trinidad.

Upstream oil and gas firm Touchstone Exploration Inc. (PBEGF:OTC; TXP:TSX; TXP:LSE), which is engaged in exploration, development, production, and sale of oil and natural gas assets in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, announced that yesterday, "it received a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to conduct development operations within the Cascadura area of the Ortoire block from the Trinidad and Tobago Environmental Management Authority."

The company advised that it has an 80% interest in the Ortoire block operations and stated the reaming 20% working interest in the Block is owned by Heritage Petroleum Co. Ltd., Trinidad and Tobago's newest state-owned oil and gas company.

Touchstone Exploration indicated that receipt of the CEC certificate allows the company to move forward with the construction of a multi-well surface production facility at the Cascadura A well site that, when completed, will be capable of producing 200 Mcf (million cubic feet) of natural gas, 5,000 Bbl (barrels) of associated liquids and 200 Bbl of produced water. The new Cascadura A well site facility is expected to have a total liquid storage capacity of 8,800 Bbl.

The company added that the permit granted allows for the company and its partner to drill up to eight wells at two well pads and to establish associated pipelines and infrastructure within the approved Ortoire block area. The firm noted that it will immediately commence with the construction of the necessary infrastructure that is required to bring production online at its two existing Cascadura wells. The company stated that The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. has already initiated work to build a 1.7 Km (kilometer), 20-inch pipeline to connect to the Cascadura facility.

Touchstone Exploration's President and CEO Paul Baay remarked, "This is a major step forward for the Cascadura project as we progress from the exploration phase to the development and production phase … This positive outcome now allows us to establish a clear and measurable five-year development plan for the discovery. We are working with our local contractors, and construction is underway at local fabrication shops for various aspects of the facility with all major facility components already delivered to Trinidad."

Touchstone is headquartered in Calgary, Alta., Canada and is focused on acquiring interests in onshore petroleum and natural gas projects, primarily in Trinidad and Tobago. With roughly 41,000 net working interest acres of core exploration and development rights, the firm is one of Trinidad's largest independent onshore oil producers and is involved in all phases of operations, from exploration and development to production and sale of oil and natural gas. The company's primary exploration focus is the Ortoire exploration block and its four onshore leased properties known as Coora-1, Coora-2, WD-4, and WD-8.

Touchstone Exploration has a market cap of around US$242.4 million, with approximately 210.8 million shares outstanding. PTEGF OTC shares opened almost 14% higher today at US$1.25 (+US$0.15, +13.64%) over yesterday's US$1.10 closing price. The stock has traded today between US$1.25 and US$1.305 per share and closed for trading at US$1.28 (+US$0.18, +16.36%).

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