Gulfsands Awarded 75% of New Moroccan Permit

Independent explorer Gulfsands Petroleum reported Monday that is has finalized agreements with Morocco's Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) for the acquisition of the newly-created Moulay Bouchta permit, onshore Morocco. Gulfsands will operate the permit with a 75-percent participating interest while ONHYM will retain a 25-percent interest.

The Moulay Bouchta permit encompasses an area of approximately 1,100 square miles and is located to the north of the company's Rharb Sud permit in northern Morocco.

Gulfsands said the area is considered to include the key remaining prospective acreage in an area where the existence of a working petroleum system has been confirmed, with the discovery and development of three oilfields. The most recent of these discoveries was the Haricha field, which had produced a total of 2.8 million barrels of oil and 4.2 billion cubic feet of gas when production ceased in 1990.

A portion of the permit area has already been the subject of a 67-square mile 3D seismic survey and this data together with legacy 2D seismic data over other portions of the licence area will be supplemented by regional seismic data previously acquired by the company. 

Gulfsands said it anticipates that, in addition to the reprocessing and interpretation of legacy 2D and 3D seismic data, an additional 310 miles of 2D seismic data will be captured in a survey to be carried out during the first two-year exploration period. The company will also undertake a legacy oilfield reactivation study during this first exploration period as part of a minimum exploration work program that is expected to cost approximately $3.5 million, it said.

Gulfsands said it believes it has captured acrease that includes the known light oil seeps that were not already covered in the Fes permit area on the eastern flank of the permit area. In addition, the Moulay Bouchta permit is also believed to contain Tertiary-aged reservoirs that may contain biogenic gas accumulations similar to those that occur in the adjacent Rharb Centre permit area, where commercially-viable natural gas accumulations are found at depths of approximately 2,625 feet to 6,560 feet.

Commenting on the signing of the agreements, Gulfsands CEO Mahdi Sajjad said:


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