Independent oil and gas company Chariot Oil & Gas has been awarded a 75% interest and operatorship of the Lixus Offshore License in Morocco.
Chariot said on Wednesday that the license had been awarded to its subsidiary, Chariot Oil & Gas Holdings (Morocco) Limited, in partnership with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), which holds a 25% carried interest.
Chariot and ONHYM are also partners in the “Kenitra Offshore” and “Mohammedia Offshore” exploration permits granted in 2016 and 2017, respectively. These two licenses are situate up to 50km offshore North Morocco and cover a combined area of c 6,050km2.
Lixus license covers an area of approximately 2,390km2, 30km north of Chariot’s existing Moroccan acreage, with water depths ranging from the coastline to 850m. The area has been subject to earlier exploration with legacy 3D seismic data covering approximately 1,425km2 and 4 exploration wells, including the Anchois gas discovery.
The Anchois-1 well was drilled in 2009 in 388m water depth some 40km from the coast and encountered an estimated net gas pay of 55m in two sands with average porosities ranging from 25% to 28%. A new independent audit of this discovery by Netherland Sewell and Associates Inc. (NSAI) estimates a 2C contingent resource of 307Bcf. A deeper target not penetrated by the well has 2U prospective resources estimated by NSAI of 116Bcf, with the Anchois discovery containing a remaining recoverable resource of 423 Bcf.
The Anchois discovery is in Tertiary-aged turbidite reservoirs that occur above a nappe emplaced during the Alpine orogeny and the pay sands have a characteristic and anomalous seismic signature. The company has identified five satellite prospects to Anchois that have tie-back potential, three of which have been audited by NSAI, and Chariot estimate that Anchois and the satellites holding remaining recoverable resources in excess of 900 Bcf.
Five prospects identified
An additional five prospects have been identified in Lixus in similar geological settings as Anchois but currently without the appropriately conditioned 3D seismic data to confirm comparable anomalous seismic signature, and these prospects have gross mean prospective resources ranging from 66 Bcf to 330Bcf, as estimated by the company. Seismic reprocessing will be undertaken to reduce the risk for these additional prospects. NSAI will be preparing a Competent Persons Report on these prospects and on Anchois N and Anchois NW. Chariot is also evaluating leads identified in the section below the Nappe which has the potential for giant scale prospective resources.
According to the company, the excellent quality reservoirs in the Anchois discovery offers the potential for high rate wells and the consequent possibility of a low-cost development. In combination with excellent commercial contract terms in a country with high gas prices in a developing market and growing energy demand, the Anchois discovery offers the potential for a material, high-value project. The low risk prospect inventory offers running room with additional, low-cost tie-back opportunities.
The initial license commitment, for which the company is fully funded, includes a technical program of 3D seismic reprocessing and evaluation to access the additional exploration potential of Lixus. Chariot will also further evaluate the gas market, test development concepts through a feasibility study and seek strategic partnerships and alliances to progress towards a development of the Anchois discovery.
Larry Bottomley, CEO commented: “The award of the Lixus license provides Chariot with a discovered resource base offering a low-cost development opportunity and significant upside. The commercial attractiveness of the Lixus license is further enhanced by its position offshore Morocco, a fast growing energy market with high gas prices and a need for increased supply. In addition to the development opportunity, the license offers very low risk exploration tie-back potential in the same play; and higher risk, transformational lead potential in the sub-nappe.
“Our understanding of the Anchois discovery developed when, following the results from the geochemical analysis of the hydrocarbons sampled in the Rabat Deep-1 well, the company investigated nearby wells as part of a technical review of thermogenic hydrocarbons in the region. This insight into the geology of the surrounding area has enabled us to identify and capture this immediately value accretive asset.
“We are confident that the commercial viability, which will be fully laid out in the feasibility study being commissioned immediately, will be highly attractive to a wide range of strategic partners across the energy value chain.
“Finally, I would like to thank the Ministry for their co-operation in securing this license and we look forward to continuing to work with our partner ONHYM.”
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