ASX-listed Cougar Energy says it will focus exclusively on the long-term commercial development of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) technology, following on-going progress with its Australian and international UCG projects. The UCG process enables deep coal deposits to be converted into a syngas suitable for use as a fuel in power generation or the manufacture of a range of petroleum products. Cougar Energy has recently completed the drilling program on its Kingaroy UCG project area in Queensland, with a total of 19 open and cored holes being drilled over an area of approximately 5 km2. Preliminary evaluation of the drill results has been in progress for the past three weeks, leading to a re-interpretation of the geology, as two target coal seams (the Kunioon and Goodger seams) are now recognised as having UCG potential. In addition, two standpipe installations are in place, from which groundwater samples are being collected to establish base-line water quality. A finalised database is being prepared for submission to independent consultants for a JORC coal resource evaluation. With this work completed, technical discussions with the Company’s UCG technology provider, Ergo Exergy Technologies, have commenced to plan the installation of the first production wells and the subsequent initiation of the pilot burn.In Pakistan, Cougar Energy (UK) is completing negotiations with the Government of Sindh Province on the royalty applicable to UCG gas production from the proposed lease area in Block III of the Thar coalfield. It is anticipated that the lease will be granted on finalisation of the royalty, and geological evaluation of the existing data can commence.