GENEL Energy has encountered oil while drilling in the Sidi Moussa block offshore Morocco.

The London-listed company is the operator of the Sidi Moussa-1 well where the oil discovery ws made, holding a 60 per cent interest.

Project partner San Leon, which holds a 10% net working interest in the Sidi Moussa block, confirmed that the SM-1 well reached a total depth of 2,825m and encountered oil during drilling operations.

Preparations were underway to perform cased hole testing.

“Testing the SM-1 well aims to evaluate the structure and its hydrocarbon potential as much as possible at this stage of early exploration, and we look forward to updating the market with the results once these are available,” San Leon executive chairman Oisin Fanning said.

Genel said it was premature at this stage of operations and ahead of the forthcoming testing of the well to make any definitive technical interpretation but would update the market on completion of operations.