Europa Oil & Gas has received an extension of its Inezgane Offshore Permit in Morocco, giving it more time to complete the technical work program.
The AIM-listed exploration and production company said the Moroccan national oil and gas regulator ONHYM had granted it a one-year extension due to the time lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Europa's technical work program is focused on further de-risking 30 prospects and leads which the company estimates have the potential to hold in aggregate close to 10 billion barrels of unrisked oil resources.
Europa holds a 75% stake in, and operatorship of the license, which covers an area of 11,228 sq. km in the Agadir Basin, with ONHYM holding the remaining 25% interest.
Since the award of the Licence in November 2019, activity has centered on interpreting extensive 3D seismic legacy data to de-risk large prospects in the Lower Cretaceous play.
Of the 30 prospects and leads identified to date, 14 are prospects, each, Europa estimates, with mean resources in excess of 150 mmboe. These prospects have stacked reservoir potential and include a wide range of structural styles including 4-way dip closures in the case of the 827 mmboe Falcon and 204 mmboe Turtle prospects. Europa has assigned a geological chance of success to these prospects of 20-35%.
Following the completion of the technical work program, Europa plans to launch a farm-out process, to find a partner to help it drill the well(s). THe company also said it continued to maintain a dialogue with three companies which have expressed interest in Inezgane.
The original duration of the Inezgane Permit was eight years comprising three exploration phases of which the Initial Phase of the Licence comprised two years. Following the extension, the Initial Phase will now run for three years and the duration of the Inezgane Licence across the three exploration phases is now nine years. At the end of the Initial Phase, Europa has the option to commit to drilling an exploration well in the Second Phase or to relinquish the Licence.
Simon Oddie, CEO of Europa, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Moroccan authorities for their swift response to the challenges posed by the global pandemic and specifically for granting us a one-year extension to the Initial Phase of the Inezgane Licence.
"The equivalent of approximately 50 UKCS North Sea blocks, Inezgane covers a large area in the Agadir basin and, while much work has already been carried out despite COVID-19, this extension will enable us to build on the encouraging results seen to date, the highlights of which include the mapping by Europa of up to 10 billion barrels of unrisked oil resources.
"Inezgane is living up to the promise we identified when we first applied for the Licence. With the extension granted, we are now focused on completing the technical work ahead of securing a partner or partners with whom we can work to realize the Licence’s substantial potential.”
Apart from the Morocco offshore block, Europe is also focused on exploration in the Atlantic and supported by revenue from oil production in the onshore UK.