Irish exploration firm acquires 37.5% stake in promising Moroccan licence

Irish exploration firm, Fastnet Oil & Gas has expanded its presence in Morocco by acquiring a 37.5% operating share in an onshore acreage which could transform the north African country from a near total importer of gas to a net exporter.

Irish exploration firm acquires 37.5% stake in promising Moroccan licence

Currently, Morocco imports 98% of its gas; but five previous drilled wells at the Tendrara Lakbir licence — located in the Atlas Mountains — have encountered gas-bearing Triassic sands.

Fastnet, which already plans to drill its maiden well, offshore Morocco at the end of this year, has farmed into eight exploration blocks within the 14,548sq km Tendrara permit.

The Dublin-based firm — which is also active in the Celtic Sea — will be partnering the Moroccan-based Oil & Gas Investments Funds and will only have to pay an entrance fee of $300,000 (€232,000) to get on board.

In addition, Fastnet will cover 100% of drilling and testing costs, which should amount to between $5m and $7m.

The company is set to drill one appraisal well, with a rig already sourced and work due to early next year, at the latest, and has options to drill further.

Fastnet’s managing director, Paul Griffiths said a successful drilling results “could be the catalyst to move towards and outline development plan and rapid monetisation of the original gas discovery”.

Referring to the drilling history in the area, Mr Griffiths added: “The Tendrara licence offers our shareholders an exciting early drilling opportunity to appraise an existing gas discovery.”

Elsewhere, yesterday, Kenmare Resources gave shareholders an upbeat outlook at its AGM, saying that it anticipates increased production from its Moma Titanium mine in Mozambique, in line with improved demand and increased prices for its products.

It added that ore processing rates are set to gradually increase and that production levels have been maintained at improved levels.

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