Morocco to Join Gas Producers Club by 2019

Rabat – As Sound Energy Company has completed the drilling of a Tendrara Gas onshore to a 3,459-meter depth, Interfax Global Energy agency said Morocco could be on gas map by 2019.Sound Energy, the European and African focused upstream gas company, announced that TE-7, the second well at the Company’s Tendrara license (onshore Morocco), has now been successfully drilled to a total measured depth of 3,459 meters corresponding to a vertical depth of 2,611 meters.An announcement by Sound Energy entitled “Tendrara: TE-7 – Completion of Drilling and Log Results” and reviewed by Sound Energy’s Moroccan Managing Director, Luca Madeddu, a qualified petroleum geologist, said the company has successfully completed a 700-meter sub horizontal drill through the TAGI (Trias Argilo-Gréseux Inférieur) reservoir. According to the same source, the company has observed significant gas shows from the TAGI sandstones consistent with those seen in the drilling of TE-6.The Company said it currently estimates a total vertical net gas pay of approximately 28 meters (roughly the same as TE-6, on a vertical basis).The horizontal nature of the well will have significantly increased TE-7’s surface area contact with the reservoir, which is anticipated to significantly increase the well flow rate, the announcement further read.The well will now be completed with a 4-1/2″ production tubing, after which the Company will proceed with rigless operations.Sound Energy added that an extended well test will follow the rigless operations for approximately 70 days to confirm production sustainability and to aid comprehensive field development planning.TE-8 Drilling to start as early as 2017As previously reported by the company, the group also intends to drill its first outpost well at Tendrara, TE-8, with the objective of both proving up significant additional volumes in the TAGI reservoir while also drilling, for the first time, the potentially transformational Paleozoic formation. While the precise location is still under review and subject to regulatory and partner approvals, drilling of TE-8 is expected to kick off early 2017.According to the Proactive Investors site, last week, AIM-listed Sound Energy, a well funded European and Mediterranean oil and gas exploration and production company, revealed it expects the first commercial gas from the Tendrara property in Morocco in the first half of 2019.A presentation uploaded to the company’s website ‘road-maps’ development, started with the horizontal well, TE-7, followed by TE-8, which will test the extent of the gas opportunity, according to the same source.The updated literature showed that the near-term potential of the asset could be anywhere up to 3-4 trillion cubic feet of gas.Tendrara could be a far larger regional play as it also has a 55% interest in the neighboring Meridja permit. Both are within 75 miles of a gas pipeline that plugs Algeria and Morocco into the main gas grid of Spain and Portugal, the presentation pointed out.Sound Energy has been one of the in-form stocks of 2016 and is up 400% since the start of July on the back of its success in Morocco.Provocative Investors quoted Sound investors as expressing their amazement at the flow rates from Te-6, Sound’s first well on the Tendrara acreage.Finance director Mary Hood in a recent Proactive Investors interview said: “Did the multi-TCF potential surprise us?“No, it didn’t, but, what we were looking for was a commercial flow rate of say 3 to 3.5 million scuffs [standard cubic feet or ‘scf’] per day, and what we’ve actually got from that first well, the T6 well, is a flow rate of 17mln scuffs per day.”She added: “It definitely surpassed our expectations.”Bound by the Atlantic ocean to the northwest, Algeria to the northeast and Mauritania to the south, Morocco has been endowed with gas-rich geological characteristics.However, the Kingdom’s dependency on imports has cheesed off the wider community of Moroccans nationwide and overseas.As the country covers the lion’s share of its upward energy needs through imports, the finger has been pointed at Morocco’s inapt energy policy, which is largely stage-managed by the government and the Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM).One of the major Achilles’ heels of the energy policy in the country is said to be the lack of coordination between these two agencies; each of which seems to have operated independently over the past few years.The dilemma has also been attributed to the lack of development of domestic energy sources in a country, which is said to possess natural gas reserves that are presumably up to meet the requirements of the entire North African region for years to come.Observers point out Morocco’s ongoing efforts to embark on a set of projects aimed to slash the Kingdom’s dependency on imports.The newly-initiated power station Noor, in  Ouarzazate on the edge of the Saharan desert, will be the size of the country’s capital city by the time it is finalized in 2018.The project is expected to provide electricity for 1.1 million people, helping Morocco to bank thousands of tonnes of carbon discharge per annum.