Predator Oil & Gas Holdings, an oil and gas company based in Jersey, US, has announced that the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) has accepted the company’s application for an exclusive license for hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal onshore northern Morocco.
Predator Oil & Gas owns a portfolio of upstream gas assets adjacent to European gas infrastructure entry points.
The company is required to submit a bank guarantee prior to a formal signing ceremony for the license to be granted.
The license will be valid for eight years, split into three phases. The initial period will be of 30 months, which will be followed by first and second extension periods of 36 and 30 months’ duration, respectively.
The exclusive license for exploration will cover an area of 7,269km² and comprises the Guercif Permits I, II, III and IV, located east of the producing gas fields of the Gharb Basin and northwest of the Tendrara gas project.
Predator will operate through its wholly-owned subsidiary Predator Gas Ventures with 75% equity interest and ONHYM 25%.
Under the license, ONHYM will have the right to ‘back-in’ for up to 25% equity in the event of a hydrocarbon development by paying its share of forward costs.
During the initial period, work will include 250km of reprocessing of existing seismic data and the drilling of one well to a minimum depth of 2,000 meters to test a seismic anomaly considered to be indicative of the presence of shallow Tertiary gas, similar to the producing Gharb Basin.
The Guercif Licence is also intended for deeper Triassic gas and Jurassic oil and gas, which will be evaluated in the first and second extensions.
The initial target for gas is located 9km north of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, which has spare capacity in case of a major gas discovery, the objective of Predator’s exploration planning.
Government taxes are confined mainly to a 5% royalty for gas and 30% Corporation Tax, but with an exemption for the first 10 years of production.