Morocco-focussed upstream gas company Sound Energy has concluded a re-negotiation of the terms of its Anoual exploration permits with Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), it announced on Monday.
The AIM-traded firm said the successful renegotiation aligned the work programme commitments on the permit and its continued pursuit to “unlock the exploration potential” of the Eastern Morocco basin, with the expected phasing of its recently-announced Tendrara production concession phase one development plan.
It said the permit became effective on 31 August 2017, covering an area of around 8,873 square kilometres with a duration of eight years and, as with all Moroccan exploration permits, was divided into three phases, with each phase having pre-agreed work commitments.
The original work commitments under the permit included an Initial period of three years, expiring on 31 August 2020, containing FTG-aerogradiometry, 600 kilometres of 2D seismic, and 150 square kilometres of 3D seismic.
A subsequent optional first complimentary period of two years and six months would have contained one exploration well with Triassic objective, and an optional second complimentary period of a further two years and six months would have seen further single exploration well with Triassic objective.
The board said the amended work programme commitments under the permit were now an initial period of four years and four months from 31 August 2017, containing FTG-aerogradiometry, 600 kilometres of 2D seismic, and one exploration well with Triassic objective, to be scheduled in 2021.
An optional first complimentary period of a further two years and six months from 31 December 2021 would result in the acquisition of 150 square kilometres of 3D seismic or its equivalent in 2D seismic data, if the results of the drilling of the exploration well drilled in the initial period are likely to constitute a commercially-exploitable discovery.
If the results from the initial period were not likely to constitute a commercially-exploitable discovery, Sound Energy said it would undertake further geological and geophysical studies, but would not be required to acquire the additional seismic data.
Finally, an optional second complimentary period of a final two years and six months would see a further single exploration well, with Triassic objectives.
The effective date of the permit remained the same, and the company clarified that the commitment to acquire FTG-aerogradiometry and 600 kilometres of 2D seismic had already been fulfilled and approved by ONHYM.
Sound Energy holds an operated 47.5% interest in the permit, with the remainder held by joint venture partners Schlumberger, with a 27.5% share, and ONHYM with a 25% share.
“Despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 restrictions, I am delighted to have re-aligned our committed exploration work programme at the Anoual exploration permit in eastern Morocco,” said chief operating officer Mohammed Seghiri.
“it dovetails more efficiently with the proposed phasing of our phase one development plan at the Tendrara Production Concession, in a manner that underscores both our confidence in the potential of the basin as a future significant gas producing province and our ability to deploy capital judiciously across the portfolio.”
At 1251 BST, shares in Sound Energy were up 28.51% at 3.92p.