MOROCCO: Sound Energy Provides Update Regarding its Exploration Permits at Sidi Moktar & Grand Tendrara

Sidi Moktar exploration permits

The Sidi Moktar exploration permits cover approximately 4,712 square kilometres in Southern Morocco with an initial period, as previously extended, of 4 years and 6 months (the “Initial Period”) within the total duration of 10 years commencing on or about 9 April 2018.  The prior extension to the Initial Period was announced by the Company on 13 October 2020, when it was confirmed that the Sidi Moktar permit Initial Period had been extended by 24-months such that the Initial Period, as extended, was to end by 9 October 2022 (the “Amendment”). The Amendment resulted from the Company and Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (“ONHYM”) declaring an event of force majeure during the Initial Period due to continued disruption caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notwithstanding the Initial Period having ended prior to the work commitments thereunder having been completed, the Company has been and remains in regular dialogue with the regulatory authorities and ONHYM in order that the Company may reach a solution to complete the committed work programme following the ending of the Initial Period and progress the exploration of this highly prospective basin. The work commitments for the Initial Period of the Sidi Moktar permits remain to acquire and process 500 kilometres of 2D seismic, a short well test of the Koba-1 well and abandonment of Koba-1 and Kamar-1, if required.

Grand Tendrara exploration permits


The Grand Tendrara exploration permits cover approximately 14,411 square kilometres in Eastern Morocco and, following completion of the initial period of 4 years within the total duration of 8 years commencing on or about 1 October 2018, the Company reports that it has submitted, having completed the necessary work commitments during the Grand Tendrara initial period, an application to ONHYM to enter the optional first extension period consisting of 2 years. 

The work commitment for the first extension period comprises the drilling one exploration well with a Triassic objective. The Company expects to fulfil this commitment by the planned subsalt drilling opportunities within the Trias Argilo-Gréseux Inférieur (TAGI) gas reservoir as announced by the Company on 9 August 2022.  The TAGI is the proven reservoir of the TE-5 Horst gas accumulation within the Tendrara Production Concession currently under development.  On entry to the first extension period the company is required to relinquish a portion of the permitted acreage. The currently proposed retained area includes all Company recognised prospectivity.

The Company confirms that the commitment to drill two exploration wells with Triassic objectives during the Grand Tendrara initial period were historically fulfilled, and approved by ONHYM as such, by the drilling of TE-9 and TE-10. The Company has therefore been able to make application for the first extension period of the Grand Tendrara exploration permits.

Both the Sidi Moktar and Grand Tendrara permits are subject to an active and constructive dialogue with ONHYM and the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development. Further announcements will be made, as appropriate, in due course. 

Commenting, Graham Lyon (Executive Chairman) said: 

“Our ongoing licence activities at both the Sidi Moktar and Grand Tendrara permits are subject to an active and constructive dialogue with ONHYM and the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, however, principally due to Covid -19, the last couple of years has restricted active licence activity that can be safely and efficiently undertaken in country either for onshore exploration geophysical surveying activities given significant crew numbers required and also limited the ability to drill given the over pressured nature of the subsalt TAGI reservoir with its inherent need for significant and uninterrupted support services. Having submitted our intentions to ONHYM to meet our licence commitments, we are continuing a constructive dialogue with respect to both these permits.  Independently of these discussions, we also continue to actively advance our fully funded microLNG project whilst also separately making progress on Pre-FID activities for our major pipeline development project at Tendrara”.

Leave a Reply