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Sound Makes Morocco Discovery, Circle Hit by Tremor (Update)

Update: adds detail about impact of earthquake on existing UK-listed Circle Oil's Moroccan gas production, at end of report 


UK-based explorer Sound Energy has confirmed a gas discovery on its Tendrara licence onshore northeast Morocco and plans to drill two more wells there this year.

Its TE-6 well achieved a stabilised gas flow rate, post stimulation, of 17mn ft3/d (0.5mn m3/d) on August 7 -- “significantly above initial expectations and represents a highly commercial rate,” its statement August 8 read; it is the first well drilled by the company on the licence.

Sound also reported a reservoir bottom hole pressure of 420 bars which it said, with the lack of gas/water contract at previous wells on the licence, suggests the possibility of a significant gas column within a continuous extended structure. “This structure may include and extend beyond the reservoir identified at TE-2, some 30km to the northeast,” it said, adding that a further well (TE-8) will be required to confirm this.

“We shall now, together with Schlumberger, proceed with the second well (TE-7 - due to spud later this month) and a further outpost well (TE-8 - expected to spud in Q4 2016), which will provide further insight on the long term potential,” said Sound’s CEO James Parsons.

Sound Energy CEO James Parsons (Photo credit: Sound Energy)

“I believe Tendrara, Meridja and the Eastern Morocco TAGI play have the potential to be a material hydrocarbon province on a regional scale and therefore to transform both Sound Energy and the Moroccan gas industry,” he added.

Rig-up at TE-7 is already complete and drilling is expected to commence during August 2016. TE-8 is being planned for later this year. TE-6 will be suspended until results from TE-7 are confirmed.

Sound has a net effective interest of 27.5% in the Tendrara licence; partners include US giant Schlumberger and Morocco-based Oil & Gas Investment Fund (OGIF). A month ago the latter expressed an interest in co-funding any necessary pipeline required if the field does go into production.

Sound’s share price spiked from £57.40 late August 5 to £65 early August 8 before settling back at £62.10 by 9.30am local time. (The original story was published 9am GMT, 10am British Summer Time) The company also has largely exploration-based activities in Italy.

Meanwhile UK-listed gas producer in Morocco, Circle Oil, said August 8 that a recent earth quake near the town of Kenitra in northern Morocco had resulted in the temporary closure of a pipeline owned by state gas operator ONHYM. The pipe was being used to transport some of the gas produced at the Sebou field, owned 75% by Circle and 25% by ONHYM. Production from the field continues at 70% of previous levels, said Circle. No injuries were associated with the earth tremor. Repairs are being implemented to the pipe, and Circle indicated it would make a further statement when the temporary constraint on its production is lifted.


Mark Smedley