A CHARIOT Oil & Gas subsidiary, Chariot Oil & Gas Investments (Morocco) has been awarded a 75 per cent interest and operatorship of the Mohammedia offshore exploration permits I – III, Morocco.

This is in partnership with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) which holds a 25% carried interest.

The Mohammedia permits sit in the nearshore and cover an area of about 4,600 square kilometres in water depths of less than 500 metres.

They are adjacent to the company’s Rabat Deep offshore exploration permits on which Chariot recently announced success in partnering.

Chariot said the Mohammedia area contains a number of proven and potential play systems.

Chariot had acquired about 375 square kilometres of 3D seismic data in 2014 in the precursor Mohammedia Reconnaissance licence from which the company identified prospects in the Eo-Oligocene (EOP-1 & 2), Lower Cretaceous (LKP- 1a,1b,2a,&2b) and the Jurassic (JP-2) with gross mean prospective resources for individual prospects ranging from 50 million barrels (MMbbls) to 289 MMbbls.

The Jurassic carbonate shelf-edge system that makes up the JP-1 prospect in the neighbouring Rabat Deep licence has been interpreted to lie along the western margin of the Mohammedia permits, Chariot said.

This carbonate shelf-edge, according to the group, appears to act as a structural control on the overlying Early Cretaceous shelf margin with the LKP prospects resulting from the deposition of interpreted shallow-water deltaic clastics.

Both the Eo-Oligocene and Lower Cretaceous prospects have seismic attributes that could be indicative of hydrocarbons, the company said.

Chariot has committed to the acquisition of 250 square kilometres of 3D seismic data which will be acquired where the LKP prospects extend outside the current 3D seismic data.

The bulk of the Mohammedia area currently has little seismic coverage.

In addition, the company will acquire a minimum of 2,000 kilometres of 2D seismic over the rest of the licence to identify the nature and extent of the play systems in this underexplored region.

Both of these 2D and 3D seismic programs are likely to be acquired in 2017.

Chariot chief executive Larry Bottomley said the company was pleased to be able to convert the Mohammedia Reconnaissance licence into exploration permits as a result of the technical de-risking gained from its 2014 3D seismic campaign in Morocco.

“The company intends to mature the prospectivity in the Mohammedia permits through the acquisition of additional seismic programs,” he said.

“We also have the potential to realise additional de-risking of the petroleum system from the drilling of the JP-1 prospect in the neighbouring Rabat Deep permits.”

“Chariot has previously announced partnering on Rabat Deep in which the Company will retain 10% equity for a carry in JP-1 to a cap in excess of expected well cost which we anticipate to occur in 2017,” he added.