Morocco: Exploration eyed near Meskala gas field

By OGJ editors
– Longreach Oil & Gas Ltd., Toronto, signed a formal agreement to take a farmout from Maghreb Petroleum Exploration SA to earn a 50% operated stake in the Sidi Moktar development license in the Essaouira basin in central Morocco.

Longreach seeks to raise funds for the drilling of as many as five wells across the Longreach portfolio. The agreement enhances Longreach’s existing Moroccan-focused asset portfolio by providing a 50% working interest and operatorship of three more exploration licenses. The Sidi Moktar licenses have produced 30.5 bcf of gas, according to Morocco’s state ONHYM.

Consulting engineers found in March 2011 that four existing fields in Sidi Moktar could have undiscovered gas initially in place in Silurian-sourced Triassic targets of a low estimate of 111 bcf, a best estimate of 292 bcf, and a high estimate of 776 bcf.

The Sidi Moktar license surrounds Meskala onshore field, and a gas pipeline runs through the permit area. Tie in to this pipeline is believed possible, with gas expected to be piped to the town of Youssoufia, where major phosphate plants exist with unmet natural gas demand.

Longreach has interests in four other onshore and offshore licenses in southern Morocco totaling 11.8 million acres.

Longreach will fully fund MPE’s commitment program to shoot 100 sq km of 3D seismic and drill two wells. Longreach expects to shoot seismic on its Zag and Tarfaya licenses. Subject to available funding, the exploration program also allocates a portion of the proceeds of a Canadian public offering to fund the drilling of one exploratory well on Zag, one on Tarfaya, and one on either of the offshore Sidi Moussa or Foum Draa licenses.

Kechoula field, which is shut-in, was discovered in 1957 and has produced 19 bcf of gas from Jurassic. It surrounds Meskala, one of Morocco’s major producing fields now making 3.5 MMscfd based on information provided by ONHYM, the current operator. Of four other fields that are Jurassic gas discoveries, three have produced and are also shut-in. Well, geological, and geophysical data from previous operators are expected to help identify further opportunities in the license.

Longreach’s Zag license is in the Zag-Tindouf basin complex in southern Morocco and is on trend with what are believed to be large gas discoveries in Algeria. The company holds a 30% interest in the Zag license. It holds a 30% interest in the Tarfaya license. Multiple prospective structures have been identified based on current 2D seismic, and a 500 line-km 2D seismic shoot is under way.

Longreach has a 10% interest in each of the Sidi Moussa and Foum Draa licenses. Multiple prospects have been identified on each.

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