As part of the preparations of the 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit, IN-VR had the pleasure to interview Chariot Oil & Gas, discuss the country’s potential, and find out more on the company and its current and future activities and priorities.
- You have acquired parts of three offshore licenses in Morocco. These licenses are located near historic onshore oil production and current offshore gas production. What opportunities does this position create?
Chariot has been exploring in the offshore sector of Morocco since 2012, when the Company took over the Loukos and Casablanca/Safi permits, and acquired the Rabat Deep licence in the same year. Following seismic acquisition and significant analysis, Chariot subsequently acquired Mohammedia Offshore in 2016 and Kenitra Offshore in 2017. In this period, Chariothas acquired over 2700sqkm of 3D seismic data and 2250km of 2D seismic data and participated in the unsuccessful Rabat Deep-1 well in 2017. The Company has built a new understanding of this region of Morocco and looks to capitalise on this understanding in the continued exploration of the Mohammedia Offshore and Kenitra Offshore permits where the Company is looking to drill an additional exploration well in late 2019-2020.
- With less than 40 offshore wells having been drilled in the past 50 years, and with offshore Morocco being under-explored, what challenges are you facing? How have the lessons you learned benefited Chariot Oil & Gas?
Offshore exploration in Morocco has yet to deliver a commercial accumulation, but those wells drilled have demonstrated all the elements required for the potential of such a discovery – namely the presence of mature and generating hydrocarbon source rocks, reservoirs and seals. In the area of Chariot’s focus, recent drilling has demonstrated excellent quality reservoirs in Jurassic-aged sands and the presence of hydrocarbons from a Cretaceous or younger source rock. This represents a new play type for the offshore and appears unique due to the proximity of the Alpine foldbelt to this area which appears to have created sufficient burial of the world-class source rocks present in the Cretaceous. In the Mohammedia and and Kenitra regions, Chariot has identified a number of Jurassic prospects that have seismic attributes that we have been able to calibrate to the Rabat Deep-1 well which are supportive of the potential presence of hydrocarbons.
- You have been working very closely with ONHYM in the past years, especially in the Mohammedia and Kenitra licenses. How has this partnership influenced the success of your operations?
Having ONHYM as a partner has been pivotal in the successful development of Chariot’s technical understanding and the delivery of the various operations that we have been involved in. The ONHYM team are technically excellent and have made a major contribution in the partnerships we have had with them. Having a local partner that is exposed to the entire well and seismic data of the country, who have also worked extensively in all Morocco’s basins and have an encyclopaedic knowledge of these areas remains an essential success factor in progressing our programmes.
- What makes Morocco such an attractive location to operate in? Is Morocco’s competitive Hydrocarbons Code a key influence?
Morocco remains a frontier area for exploration. As a consequence, the Government has a number of important initiatives to attract risk capital - excellent commercial terms, an open policy to participation, transparent processes and an excellent partner in ONHYM. Morocco rates very highly in terms of ease of doing business, and Chariot’s experience is that the various Ministries are very supportive of the sector. For Chariot, the combination of the potential for significant discoveries and the competitive Hydrocarbon Code makes this an obvious destination for our investments.
- Who are you looking forward to meeting during the 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit?
Chariot always enjoys the opportunity to meet with the various agencies with whom we develop a close relationship, the Ministries, ONHYM, our peers, contractors and consultants – all those involved in making the Oil and Gas sector effective. The 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit gives our Company an excellent opportunity to deepen these relationships.
Find out more about operating in Morocco first-hand from Larry Bottomley, by attending the 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit and hearing from Chariot Oil & Gas, ONHYM, and all major operators. The 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit is the Official Summit for the hydrocarbons industry of Morocco. The event will take place at Marrakech from 6th to 7th February 2019.