Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has signed a rig option agreement with Star Valley Drilling for work on Morocco’s Moulouya-1 prospect.
The agreement on drilling in the Guercif licence was signed by Predator’s subsidiary, Predator Gas Ventures. The Canadian drilling company is currently working on SDX Energy’s 12-well programme in the country. The work will be carried out by Rig No. 101.
There is a rig mobilisation date from March 15 to April 30, of next year. The option runs until January 31 for a legally binding contract.
The plan is for the Moulouya-1 to be drilled to a depth of 2,000 metres. Mobilisation and drilling should take up to 30 days.
Completing this well will release $1 million from Predator’s $1.5mn bank guarantee with Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), once all the data has been provided to the Moroccan company.
There is an option to extend the contract, either through an appraisal well or a follow-up exploration well. The company said it would provide more details on the agreements in 2020.
Predator’s CEO Paul Griffiths said this was “another significant step” for the company in developing “shallow gas in Morocco adjacent to infrastructure as a greener contribution to reducing Morocco’s carbon footprint”. He cited SDX’s drilling programme in the Rharb Basin, to the west of Predator’s acreage, and various other proposed wells to the south, “where several companies are hoping to evaluate Triassic Tagi gas potential”.
The Guercif licence “offers us attractive running room with multiple prospects and leads to test all the gas plays currently being evaluated for drilling around us”. The licence has Tertiary gas prospects less than 10 km from the Gazoduc Maghreb Europe (GME) pipeline.
While exploration offshore Morocco has been largely underwhelming, a number of small companies are pressing ahead with gas developments. Sound Energy is working on plans in the country, including offering one project for sale, while Chariot Oil & Gas is also working on the Anchois development, in addition to SDX’s plans.