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Sound Energy details Morocco exploration plans following Tendrara successes

Chief executive James Parsons says the rest of 2017 will see a busy operational period for Sound Energy
onshore drilling operation
No worries: Sound to pick up Anoual and Matarka exploration areas

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has outlined its plans for the newly defined Anoual and Matarka exploration areas in the vicinity of its successful Tendrara gas project in eastern Morocco.

New exploration licences are being issued as the group completes its acquisition deal agreed previously with partner OGIF - which also gives the company a larger position in Tendrara.

Sound plans to undertake geophysical surveying and preliminary exploration operations, including seismic, ahead of future wells in the new exploration areas.

READ: Sound Energy confirms Tendrara development concept is intact

"Following the recent confirmation of the plan for Tendrara development with the successful TE7 pressure build up, I am very pleased to report excellent progress on the OGIF acquisition and our geophysical programme,” said James Parsons, Sound Energy chief executive.

“We, together with our strategic partner Schlumberger, are opening a new hydrocarbon province in Eastern Morocco, which we absolutely expect to be transformational for both Sound Energy and Morocco.”

Parsons said the agreements for the new Anoual and Matarka licences will further strengthen the group’s regional position.

“In the meantime, we look forward to updating shareholders on our future drilling plans in Eastern Morocco and the extended well test in Southern Morocco, and to continuing to advance the company's position in the region. 

“We expect the third and fourth quarters to be a busy operational period."

Tendrara stake increases

Sound confirmed that with its successful recent well programme at Tendrara, it has already satisfied the commitments of both the first and second complimentary periods under its licence agreement, and it now expects to secure a new eight-year licence for the project in 2018.

The company’s next work at Tendrara will involve a Full Tensor Gravity (FTG) gradiometry survey and 2D seismic programme, both of which will be paid for by Schlumberger under its partnership agreement.

Presently, Sound owns a 75% stake in Tendrara which is effectively shared with Schlumberger, with the AIM-quoted firm retaining 47.5% of the asset.

The acquisition deal sees Sound issuing OGIF some 272mln new Sound Energy shares.

Once it is complete, Sound will acquire a further 20% stake in Tendrara, and it will secure the rights to acquire a 75% stake in the Meridja exploration area and a 75% stake in previously relinquished areas close to Tendrara.

Anoual exploration area

The area presently called Meridja will in future be known as the Anoual exploration area. Sound will retain 47.5% of  Anoual, once it assigns Schlumberger 27.5%.

Anoual will be subject to an eight-year exploration permit, for an area spanning 8,863 square kilometres.

During an initial three year period. the company will be required to carry out an FTG-aerogradiometry programme, plus acquire 600 kilometres of 2D seismic and 150 square kilometres of 3D seismic.

A subsequent period of two years and six months, will require one exploration well (to test a Triassic objective). Then, a second well will be required under the terms for a third period of two-and-a-half years.

Sound has the option to drill these well ahead of schedule, and they will still count against its obligations.

Matarka exploration area

The relinquished areas will be known as the Matarka exploration area.

Initially, the company will have a one-year reconnaissance licence and it will have to deliver an FTG survey.

After that the group will have the right to apply for a longer exploration licence.

Tendrara programmes

Sound told investors it expects Schlumberger (which is paying for and carrying out the work) will undertake a number of geophysical surveys – including FTG, Scalar Gravity, Magnetics and LiDAR surveys.

This work will start in July. It will span some 24,000 square kilometres, and it will inform a basin scale model to evaluate Paleozoic and Triassic petroleum systems and the basin’s potential. It is expected to be a three month programme, with a full interpretation of the data anticipated in November.

The findings will support planning for the future seismic programmes.

Schlumberger is expected to start the 2D seismic in the first half of next year. The exploration programme will be split into three parcelled areas, likely starting with an area in the Tendrara/Anoual border area where the partners want to better define structural leads.

Subsequently, once all seismic is complete, the company intends to upgrade exploration prospects into its inventory, which will be assessed further via a new competent persons report.

This will be part of a programme to advance the Tendrara resources ahead of a final investment decision for the anticipated Tendrara development project. 

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