Gulfsands Petroleum purchases stake in new Moroccan permit

oil morocco-nestor galina flickrThe Moulay Bouchta permit is also believed to contain Tertiary aged reservoirs that may contain biogenic gas accumulations similar to those that occur in the adjacent Rharb Centre permit area, where commercially viable natural gas accumulations are found at depths of approximately 800 metres to 2,000 metres. (Image source: Nestor Galina/Flickr)Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that it has acquired a 75 per cent stake in the newly created Moulay Bouchta permit onshore Morocco


Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) will retain a 25 per cent participating interest. According to the UK-listed company, the attributable cost will be carried by Gulfsands Petroleum through the exploration phase of the permit.

The Moulay Bouchta permit encompasses an area of approximately 2,850 sq km and is located to the north of the company’s Rharb Sud permit. It extends eastwards to surround the western, northern and eastern boundaries of the Fes permit onshore northern Morocco.

According to Gulfsands Petroleum, this area reportedly includes the key remaining prospective acreage in an area where the existence of a working petroleum system has been confirmed with the discovery and development of three oilfields, the most recent of which was the Haricha Field, which had produced a total of 2.8mn barrels of oil and 119mn cubic metres of gas when production ceased in 1990.

The three legacy light oilfields are known to have produced oil from shallow reservoirs down to around 1,200 metres while Gulfsands Petroleum plans to evaluate the potential for deeper and potentially larger structures containing Jurassic and Cretaceous aged reservoirs similar to targets identified on the adjacent Fes permit.

The explorer said that a portion of the new permit area has already been the subject of a 175 sq km 3D seismic survey and these data together with legacy 2D seismic data over other portions of the licence area will be supplemented by regional seismic data previously acquired by the company. 

Mahdi Sajjad, CEO of Gulfsands Petroleum, said, “We view this licence area as prospective for oil and an important and complementary addition to our already extensive onshore portfolio and consider the award of this permit to reflect local recognition of the efforts our entire organisation has made in establishing a meaningful presence in Morocco in little more than one year. We are all looking forward to moving forward with successful exploration programmes on the more than 5,700 sq km of contiguous area that we now hold with the Fes, Moulay Bouchta and Rharb Sud permits.”

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