Energean has struck a deal to farm into Chariot’s Moroccan assets, in a move that should kickstart the Anchois gas development.
Energean will receive a 45% stake in the Lixus licence and the role of operator. It will have the option to increase its stake to 55%. It will also take a 37.5% stake in Rissana.
Energean CEO Mathios Rigas described the deal as “an exciting step in the next stage of our development, one that can only enhance our position as the pre-eminent independent natural gas producer listed in London”.
“These assets are particularly attractive as we understand the core geological, commercial and political drivers of the region, we have a track record in developing material gas resources prioritised for the domestic market and they are a complementary fit with our broader portfolio, not least the potential for surplus supply to other markets.”
The company will pay Chariot $10 million in cash up front. It will also carry Chariot for its share of pre-final investment decision (FID) costs, recoverable from future revenues. This is worth up to $85mn.
This carry will cover the drilling of an appraisal well in 2024 on Anchois. It will also pay for the acquisition of seismic on Rissana. At present, Anchois is thought to hold 18 billion cubic metres of gas. The appraisal well is targeting another potential 11 bcm.
Energean will then have the right to acquire another 10% in Lixus for a $850mn gross carry to first gas, a $50mn zero coupon convertible note and a 7% royalty from Energean’s gas revenues.
Moroccan Minister of Energy Transition Leila Benali said the agreement was “pivotal” for the offshore acreage. “We welcome Energean on these licences as the important investments will contribute greatly to the monetisation of the country’s resources and to our ambitious energy strategy.”
Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) also welcomed the agreement. The state-owned company has a 25% stake in both the Chariot licences.
Chariot CEO Adonis Pouroulis noted Energean’s track record. The company has developed gas fields offshore Israel in the East Mediterranean.
“Energean also shares our view that Anchois and its surrounding acreage offers significant upside potential and we are aligned with our plans moving forward. The new partnership is a key step in bringing the development of the Anchois field to reality and we are looking forward to continuing the extensive work undertaken so far to reach [FID].”
Lixus covers 1,794 square km, with water depths ranging to 850 metres. There have been five exploration wells on the acreage, including the Anchois-1 and Anchois-2 discoveries.
Eni has been drilling a well offshore Morocco with the Topaz Driller. Work began in September and is thought to be close to finishing.