Sound Energy reports exploration volume estimates for Sidi Moktar


LONDON -- Sound Energy, the African and European focused upstream gas company, has provided the Company's first volumes estimate of the exploration potential of the Sidi Moktar exploration permits in Central Morocco.

The Sidi Moktar Permits cover 2,700 km2 in the Essaouira basin, central Morocco and contain an existing gas discovery in the Lower Liassic (Kechoula) and significant pre-salt potential.  Sidi Moktar is close to existing infrastructure and gas demand, including the large-scale Moroccan state owned OCP Phosphate plant.  The Company has recently successfully re-entered, completed, perforated and flared gas at surface from the Argovian reservoir (historically the main producing reservoir in the Kechoula discovery). The Company will provide an update on the Argovian work program shortly.

The Company recently commissioned Echo Geoscience Management Ltd (EG) to undertake an independent preliminary technical evaluation of the available historical exploration well and 2D seismic data across the Sidi Moktar Permits area with a focus on the under-explored pre-salt plays beneath the Argovian reservoir (the EG Study).

The Company is pleased to report the results of the EG Study, which has significantly enhanced the Company's view of the exploration potential and confirms the substantial upside of this pre-salt play. EG have defined and mapped a portfolio of 28 Liassic, Triassic and Paleozoic leads in a variety of hydrocarbon trap types across the Sidi Moktar Licences.  Much of the potential lies within 11 of the pre-salt Triassic and Paleozic leads ranging in size individually from 200 Bcf to 2.5 Tcf.  The EG Study highlights an exploration potential best case of 8.9 Tcf with an high of 11.2 Tcf and a low case of 6.7 Tcf, unrisked gas originally in place (gross).  The largest of the leads include the following unrisked gas originally in place (gross):

  • The 'EG6' Lead (30 km southeast of the producing Meskala gas field), a tilted fault block with estimated volumes of 2.5 Tcf best case, a 4.3 Tcf high case and a 0.9 Tcf low case.
  • The 'EG3' Lead (40 km east of Meskala gas field), a tilted fault block with estimated volumes of 1.1 Tcf best case, a 1.9 Tcf high case and a 0.4 Tcf low case. 
  • The 'EG7' Lead (20 km east of the Kechoula gas discovery), a well-defined four-way-dip closure with a 0.7 Tcf best case with a 1.3 Tcf high case and a 0.3 Tcf low case.

The Company expects to shortly sign a new eight-year Exploration Permit for the Sidi Moktar Licences covering a larger area of 4,499 km2.  The Company expects to hold a 75% position in this renewed Exploration Permit with Morocco's Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) holding a 25% position.  After award the Company will commence the reprocessing of existing 2D seismic data and begin the acquisition a minimum of 500 km of new 2D seismic data and undertake further geological studies in anticipation of high impact exploration drilling. The work program will be focused to address the critical risks with the expectation of increasing the chance of geological success to greater than 30% prior to drilling. Preparations for the new 2D seismic program are already underway.

The Company cautions that exploration in the oil and gas industry contains an element of risk and there can be no guarantee that its current estimates of volumes of gas originally in place will be substantiated. Notwithstanding the preliminary volumetric assessments of exploration potential across the Sidi Moktar Licences estimated by the EG Study, the Company requires further exploration activity, including the acquisition of additional seismic and further drilling activities to substantiate the exploration potential and the potential recoverable volumes.

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