UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: February 6, 301 AP.

Chiquiti Water boring team find... coal?!

Chiquiti's water boring teams from Feniz and Utania have made unexpected discoveries under the so-named Mezzir refugee camp: coal.

The Fenizian team had been working in the Mezzir camp, so-named by the workers from Feniz, which is about half-way between the Chiquiti City and the Utanian border with South Bay, searching for water buried under the camp when they broke a drill bit thirty meters underground. The drill was a three-inch steel drill bit designed for exploratory searches for water, and designed for hard clays and soft dirt. It shredded several teeth when it struck something hard.

Thinking they had struck a rock, the Fenizians attached a new drill-bit without looking at the old one, and continued drilling, only to break a second bit a mere 30cm further down. It was then they looked at the first, then second drill bits. They had apparently struck a small vein of hard, black mineral which the oil-drilling Fenizians instantly recognised as coal.

Utanian mining engineers and geologists confirmed the find, having long suspected the Chiquiti valley being heir to some coal reserves, "but we are not talking hundreds of years of reserves", says Dr Rogan of the state-owned Argo Mining Co. While coal has been found in several places around Utania, including Lasanne and Nystonia, Kanhara and Mulgrave, and now Chiquiti, the question remains: Is there oil? Dr Rogan doesn't expect so, but there is a possibility.

"We know there is oil in the Guwimith Strait, but elsewhere we have not yet found great reserves, only small quantities", said Dr Rogan, but added "we haven't really begun to explore Utania for oil, and certainly the Guwimithian regime had little interest in finding it here." Dr Rogan says such an exploration would run over years, and cost several hundred million pund, which means it is a process the government must initiate.

"And when the time comes", said one of the Chiquiti-based Fenizian drilling team at the press conference, as a wry grin crossed his face, "you'll know who to turn to."

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)