Europa Oil & Gas has decided to give up its Inezgane license offshore Morocco after failing to secure a farm-in partner to drill an exploration well in the block.
The Moroccan authorities had, in October 2020, given the company more time to complete the technical work program at the license, due to the time lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Europa said at the time its technical work program was focused on further de-risking 30 prospects and leads, which the company estimated "have the potential to hold in aggregate close to 10 billion barrels of unrisked oil resources."
However, the oil and gas company said this week it had decided not to progress the block to the next phase which would've called for the drilling of an exploration well.
"Europa is in the final stages of completing all its obligations for Inezgane and expects to complete the final relinquishment report shortly. Once this final obligation has been satisfied, the bank guarantee of US$315,000 will be released and repaid to Europa, following which the company will have no further interests associated with Inezgane," Europa said.
Simon Oddie, CEO of Europa, said: "It has been a difficult decision not to progress to the First Extension Period as Inezgane offers significant exploration potential."
"However, progressing to the next stage would have required Europa to commit to drilling an exploration well, which we could not justify without obtaining another partner.
"We have been working tirelessly with advisors to secure a farm-in partner, but the market appetite for offshore deep-water oil exploration is currently very low, and we have ultimately been unsuccessful."
"During the Initial Period, the technical team identified multiple exploration prospects and as such we believe that Inezgane has significant potential and I would like to thank the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines ("ONHYM"), the Moroccan hydrocarbons and mines regulatory body, for the opportunity to work in the region and wish them success in the future."
Europa said it was "committed to creating shareholder value by building a balanced portfolio of exploration, appraisal and production assets in the UK and Atlantic Ireland."