Sound Energy awarded extension to Anoual Permits onshore Morocco
Sound Energy, the Moroccan focused upstream gas company announced a 12-month extension to the initial period of the Anoual Exploration Permits, onshore Morocco (the "Anoual Permits").
The Anoual Permits cover 8,873 square kilometres in Eastern Morocco and, following completion of the acquisition by the Company of the entire issued share capital of Schlumberger Silk Route Services Limited as announced on 31 August 2021, the Company holds an operated 75% interest in the Anoual Permits, with the remaining 25% interest held by joint venture partner, L'Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines ("ONHYM").
Due to ongoing disruption caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Company has been in regular dialogue with the regulatory authorities, ONHYM has approved a 12-month extension to the initial period as defined in the Petroleum Agreement related to the Anoual Permits due to Force Majeure in order for the Company to complete the committed work programme.
Subject to the issuance of the Joint Arreté signed by the Minister in charge of Energy and Minister in charge of Finance, the length of the initial period defined under the Petroleum Agreement, which was previously successfully re-negotiated as announced by the Company on 6 July 2020, will now be 5 years and 4 months, commencing 8 September 2017 (the "Initial Period").
The work programme commitments for the Initial Period remain unchanged. The length of the first complimentary period, which would commence upon the successful completion of the now extended Initial Period, is 1 year and 2 months and the second complimentary period remains unchanged at 2 years and 6 months. The work programmes for each of the complimentary periods remain unchanged.
As a result, the Anoual Permits now have a total duration of 9 years (in place of 8 years) and the unchanged work commitments under the Anoual Permits are:
- Initial Period of 5 years and 4 months from 8 September 2017: FTG-aerogradiometry and 600 kilometres of 2D seismic and 1 exploration well with Triassic objective (to be scheduled in 2022).
- Optional first complimentary period of a further 1 years and 2 months: if the results of the drilling of the exploration well drilled in the Initial Period are likely to constitute a commercially exploitable discovery, the Company will acquire 150 km2 of 3D seismic or its equivalent in 2D seismic data. If the results of the exploration well drilled in the Initial Period are not likely to constitute a commercially exploitable discovery, the Company will undertake further geological and geophysical studies but will not be required to acquire this additional seismic.
- Optional Second complimentary period of a final 2 years and 6 months: A further single exploration well with Triassic objective.
Mohammed Seghiri, Sound Energy's Chief Operating Officer, said: "COVID 19 travel restrictions have prevented us from mobilising staff and contractors in order to prepare for our next exploration well which will target a TAGI petroleum system prospect in Anoual exploration permits. We thank ONHYM and the Ministry of Energy for their strong and continuing support. Hopefully, all the sanitary measures (vaccination campaigns, border control, etc) already put in both the UK and Morocco will help to avoid new delays. We, as Sound Energy, are eager to make a new discovery and thus unlock the multi Tcf exploration potential of Eastern Morocco basin."
The Company clarifies that the commitment to acquire FTG-aerogradiometry and 600 kilometres of 2D seismic during the Initial Period has already been fulfilled and approved as such by ONHYM.