Sound Energy PLC (AIM:SOU) Eastern Morocco 2018 Work Programme

Eastern Morocco 2018 Work Programme and Operations Update


Sound Energy, the Moroccan upstream gas company, is pleased to provide details of its 2018 work programme and an update on the Company’s acquisition of geophysical and geological data in Eastern Morocco.

Following the completion of the aerial gradiometry programme and the early results of the ongoing seismic surveys, the Company is pleased to confirm its exploration plans for 2018 exploration in Eastern Morocco.

Commenting on today’s announcement, James Parsons, Sound Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“These early results of our geophysical and geological studies underscore our confidence in the Eastern Morocco exploration potential.  We are now moving forward with our exploration drilling programme with a view to unlock three of our largest plays.  Success at any one of these wells, together with the emerging seismic results, will likely be a step change in this new hydrocarbon province, and build significant new value for shareholders”.  


Leading player in an established gas province:

Sound Energy and its partners hold an approximately 28,548 Km2 exploration acreage position in Eastern Morocco, including the Company’s existing discovery at Tendrara. The Company drilled two successful wells there in 2016 and 2017, which established the economic gas potential in the TAGI (Triassic) reservoirs at Tendrara. 

As announced by the Company on 20 December 2017 and confirmed on 23 January 2018, a recently completed resources certification has confirmed a total mid-case 0.65 Tcf gas originally in place (“GOIP”*) in the TE-5 Horst and mid-case contingent resources of 377 Bcf (low-mid-high 197-377-533 Bcf).

The Company is pursuing the development of this important discovery, and looks forward to updating the market on development funding initiatives which are well advanced, as appropriate, in due course.

Geophysical surveys:

Safe and reliable operations are at the heart of Sound Energy’s strategy.

Sound Energy’s internal assessment is that its Eastern Morocco licences contain exploration potential of 9-17-31 Tcf of GOIP (low, mid and high case). Geophysics, geology and drilling programmes are underway to unlock the potential of the acreage.


The Company is now pleased to confirm that the final data processing of 22,800 square kilometres of recently acquired aerial gradiometry data has now been completed and that the modelling of that  data is expected to conclude by the end of February 2018.  This coverage spans the entire Tendrara, Matarka and Anoual permits, and it is already leading to important insights into the basin structure and petroleum systems modelling, particularly in the TAGI and underlying Paleozoic plays.


Seismic acquisition is also underway, with over 30% of the planned 2,900 line kilometre survey already completed. The seismic will provide additional important insights into the basin and is being used to delineate and de-risk new exploration targets for drilling.

Once completed, the seismic survey will extend over a quarter of Sound Energy’s Eastern Moroccan acreage, which contains at least half of the Company’s prospect and lead portfolio. This represents some 50% of the basin exploration potential (9 -17-31 Tcf; low, mid, high GOIP).  The Company therefore expects this high impact, and carefully targeted, seismic acquisition programme to delineate over 8 Tcf of mid case GOIP, and more in the upside case (5 – 8 -16 Tcf; low-mid-high GOIP).


The Company has divided the seismic acquisition programme into three discrete phases, focused on confirming the exploration drilling locations for the 2018 work programme:

·    Phase 1: This phase of the seismic survey was completed in 2017, and comprises 341 line kilometres of 2D seismic across the TAGI structural play (the A1, A2 and M1 structures, located approximately 25Km to 50 Km north-west of the TE-5 Horst).

·    Phase 2: This acquisition targets the TAGI stratigraphic play (Lakbir NE and TE-2 25 to 50km north-east of the TE-5 Horst) and is currently 50% complete.

·    Phase 3: This phase continues to further image and de-risk additional leads within the TAGI structural play (M5, B, approximately 50km west of the TE-5 Horst). This phase of acquisition is expected to start in April 2018.

The overall seismic acquisition programme is planned to be completed by August 2018 with the final processed products delivered to the Company in October 2018. Separate independent competent persons reports (“CPR”) will be commissioned after the completion of each phase of seismic acquisition.  The first CPR, due in March 2018, will cover the Phase 1 seismic area including the A Structure.


Exploration Drilling Campaign:

During 2018 the Company plans to start a three well exploration campaign in Eastern Morocco, subject to partner approvals. Sound Energy will leverage the recently acquired and to be acquired geophysical data and the insights from its 2016-17 drilling programme, in order to test three independent – and high potential – play types. All of the targeted volumes provided below are included within the Company’s internally estimated total exploration potential volumes.


·    TE-9 expected to spud July 2018

The ‘A’ Structure (25km north-west of TE-5 Horst) targeting  estimated mid case GOIP volumes of  0.7 Tcf (1.2 Tcf upside case and a 0.4 Tcf low case).  This well will have two objectives, firstly to discover commercial quantities of gas in the TAGI reservoir and secondly an opportunity to target a potentially similar volume in the underlying Paleozoic.

 ·   TE-10 expected to spud as the second well, likely in September 2018, targeting the North-east Lakbir (25km north north-east of TE-5 Horst), designed to target a TAGI stratigraphic pinch-out play, with currently estimated volumes of 2.6 Tcf mid case, GOIP (5.0 Tcf GOIP upside case and a 1.2 Tcf GOIP low case). 

The Company is also considering a re-drill of the TE-2 well (40km north east of the TE-5 Horst), also targeting a TAGI stratigraphic pinch-out play.  This option is under evaluation as an additional exploration well (with estimated mid case estimated volumes of 1.4 Tcf GOIP (2.7 Tcf GOIP upside case and a 0.7 Tcf GOIP low case).

 ·   A third well, TE-11, likely a Palaeozoic well with a spud potentially in November 2018. The location for this well will be finalised following receipt of the phase 2 and phase 3 seismic. 


These exploration wells, which of course remain under review as the latest seismic data is received, will span multiple target types across both structural and stratigraphic traps and Triassic and Palaeozoic reservoirs.  Each of the wells will take approximately 60 days. In anticipation of drilling the TE-9 well, the completion of the environmental impact assessment is expected imminently and the Company will commence ground works in April.

The Company cautions that general 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 by exploration drilling or would actually be available for extraction. While the company makes every effort to deliver the exploration programme on schedule, there are non-subsurface HSSE risks (weather, contractor performance, equipment reliability etc) which may impact the operational schedule.


* all GOIP volumes included in this announcement are gross and unrisked. The term ‘unrisked’ refers to exploration potential where no subsurface CoS (chance of success) has been applied.

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