The extension makes up for the time lost on the project due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and allows sufficient time for the company to complete its technical work programme.
This work sees the company derisking 30 prospects and leads, estimated to host some 10bn barrels of unrisked oil resources.
Europa owns a 75% stake in the project which spans some 11,228 square kilometres.
“We are extremely grateful to the Moroccan authorities for their swift response to the challenges posed by the global pandemic and specifically for granting us a one year extension to the Initial Phase of the Inezgane licence,” said Simon Oddie, Europa chief executive in a statement.
“The equivalent of approximately 50 UKCS North Sea blocks, Inezgane covers a large area in the Agadir basin and, while much work has already been carried out despite COVID-19, this extension will enable us to build on the encouraging results seen to date, the highlights of which include the mapping by Europa of up to 10 billion barrels of unrisked oil resources."
Oddie added: “Inezgane is living up to the promise we identified when we first applied for the Licence. With the extension granted, we are now focused on completing the technical work ahead of securing a partner or partners with whom we can work to realise the Licence’s substantial potential.”
The original duration of the Inezgane Permit was eight years, comprising three exploration phases – the initial phase was originally set to last two years and is now extended to three.
Oddie, meanwhile, highlighted what he said will be an exciting period for the company.
“Together with ongoing work to bring the Wressle Oil Field in Lincolnshire online later this quarter, which will more than double our production to over 200 bopd, the months ahead promise to be an exciting period for Europa,” he noted.
“I look forward to providing further updates on our progress as we look to deliver on our twin objective to expose our shareholders to high impact exploration activity, while at all times looking to minimise risk by scaling up our UK onshore production profile and securing partners to drill wells.”