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Lake Geneva gas drilling plans presented

Vevey-based firm Petrosvibri has outlined plans to test-drill for natural gas under Lake Geneva.

The company said the SFr22.5 million ($21 million) project had a 15 per cent chance of success, in presenting detailed plans to local authorities in canton Vaud on Wednesday.

The project was recently given the go-ahead by Noville authorities after months of discussion. Drilling is expected to start in November and last until 2011. It will go to a depth of 3km.

“The geological indicators tell us that there is gas,” said geologist Werner Leu at the project announcement.

The company, which belongs to Swiss gas providers Holdigaz and Gaznat, aimed to show that all precautions had been taken to limit the effects of drilling on the area. The company says there will be monitoring of the environmental impact during the process.

Petrosvibri used new computer models to re-examine geological research and data of Lake Geneva from the 1980s and believes billions of cubic metres of gas – and perhaps crude oil – may be stored several kilometres down at the eastern end of the lake close to where the River Rhône flows into it.

Last year, natural gas equalled 13 per cent of energy consumption by the Swiss. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR