---ADDS SHARE PRICE AND BROKER COMMENT---
Sound Energy (LON:SOU) shares nudged higher as it started ground works at its Tendrara licence area in Morocco with all contracts in place for its first well.
The contracts include a binding rig contract with Saipem for a National 110 UE (1500 HP) traditional rig.
The rig is currently being prepared for mobilisation from Mauritania, which is expected to begin later this month.
Partner Schlumberger has agreed to fund 80% of this first well at Tendrara as part of a three well collaboration.
The well, 2.4Km North East of the previously successfully drilled TE5 well, is expected to cost approximately £9.2mln (100%) with Sound to contribute 20%.
James Parsons, Sound Energy's chief executive, said: "We expect our first Moroccan well to demonstrate that we can secure commercial flow rates at Tendrara whilst also proving up further significant volumes.
“This will be a critical well for both Sound Energy and the whole of Eastern Morocco, which is rapidly attracting interest from across the sector.
House broker Cantor said it was another encouraging update.
Its total net asset value for Sound is 30.9p a share, including 16.7p of core NAV and 14.2p of risked NAV, and it valued Sound’s current Italian production at Rapagnano and Nervesa at 1.5p a share.
Shares in the junior are up 1.47% today at 17.25p.