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Predator Oil & Gas Holdings shares rise as it lands Morocco exploration project

Predator Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:PRD) shares rose around 18% after it secured an exclusive licence for hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal onshore northern Morocco.

It is to be formally awarded the eight-year licence, which starts with an initial 30-months exploration phase across 7,269 square kilometres to the east of producing gas fields and northwest of Sund Energy PLC’s Tendrara gas project.

The AIM-quoted explorer will have a 75% stake in the project, partnered by state-backed energy firm ONHYM (which retains 25% and will have the right to acquire another 25%).

Exploration will start with desktop work, including the reprocessing of existing seismic data which would be followed by at least one exploration well.

“Predator management selected Guercif based on its 12 years’ experience of exploring and financing Moroccan opportunities,” said Paul Griffiths, Predator chief executive.

“It represents an asset that will fit very well with the company’s strategy of developing gas opportunities adjacent to infrastructure, where the geological and commercial risks can be shown to be low.

“Guercif represents a high impact, low cost, near-term drilling opportunity in a sophisticated and stable business and operating environment that is well understood by management.

“We are excited by this opportunity and by the potential for cash flow from operations through 2019, which can underpin our plans to become a significant gas player connected to the European gas market.”

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