LINC Energy is moving towards a start of exploration at its Arckaringa basin permits in South Australia, with three wells to be drilled on the permits.

The company said its first rig was expected to roll onto site in late September 2014, with spudding of the first well to occur shortly thereafter.

The drilling program is focused on the Boorthanna Trough, targeting resources identified by experts earlier this year.

“To date no previous drilling has intersected the formations at depth and the results of these wells will be important to understanding the basin in detail,” Linc said in an announcement.

Analysis of samples and core recovered during the drilling activity will include testing for thermal maturity, confirmation of source rock quality and the intersection of conventional oil and gas targets.

Open well testing will take place if moveable hydrocarbons are detected – with assessment of the data collected in this first phase of drilling to determine the next development steps.

Linc will look to follow-up the wells with another three, to be drilled this financial year.

“It is envisaged that if the results of these six wells are successful, Linc Energy will undertake a focused drilling campaign to start to unlock the significant hydrocarbon potential of this basin,” it said in an announcement.

The company had also identified several conventional oil well opportunities, it said.

The news came as Linc announced it had received unsolicited expressions of interest for both its Umiat and Wyoming conventional oil assets in the United States of America.

The company had started a formal process to work with the parties which had expressed an interest in the company’s entire US oil and gas portfolio, Linc chief executive Peter Bond said.

“We will work with the parties and update the market if we can agree final and binding terms. We will endeavour to conclude discussions before the end of 2014,” he said.

“In the meantime, it is business as usual as we focus on the exploration and development of the shale deposits in our South Australian leases, our continued development of the Gulf Coast oil assets and the development of our underground coal gasification (UCG) into new areas of business.”