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Oilman Jim's Private Blog


Predator Oil & Gas - Morocco - Operations Update

Predator Oil & Gas Holdings Plc (PRD), the Jersey-based Oil and Gas Company with operations in Trinidad, Morocco, and Ireland, notes that the Moroccan authorities have stated that the state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is being extended to July 10th during which time there would be an easing of some of the current restrictive public health measures.

Company focus

Executing safely the Company's proposed drilling programme for the Guercif Permits I, II, III and IV ("Guercif") onshore Morocco remains the most important single objective for the Board and management of the Company. Predator (75%) operates Guercif in joint venture with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines ("ONHYM") acting on behalf of the State (25%).

Rig status

During the period of lockdown in Morocco, the Star Valley Rig 101 has remained securely stacked in the country ready for mobilisation when circumstances permit.

Petrophysical studies and evidence for gas

NuTech has completed for the Company a modern petrophysical analysis of the GRF-1 well. The gross interval between 1,386 and 1,413 metres TVD KB (27 metres) has interpreted gas saturations in the range 37 to 51%, whilst a gross interval between 1,635 and 1,925 metres TVD KB (290 metres) has gas saturations ranging from 30 to 72%. The new petrophysical analysis supports the presence of a gas charge and is consistent with thermogenic gas shows (mainly methane, but with traces of ethane and propane) recorded on the GRF-1 mud logs and the small volume of gas recovered on a Formation Interval Test at the time of drilling in 1972.

Additional target in first exploration well

The NuTech analysis has identified the upper part of the interval between 1,386 and 1,413 metres TVD KB in GRF-1 as a new additional target for the first exploration well. As a result, the well will present an opportunity to evaluate the western edge of a newly interpreted Tertiary fan complex, covering an area of between 20 and 25 km². A successful drilling result would prove the geological concept and de-risk a large area hitherto regarded as being less prospective and not included in estimates of potential gas resources.

Gas marketing study

SLR Environmental Consulting (Ireland) Limited has been appointed to carry out a  review of the technical feasibility of transporting produced natural gas in the form of compressed natural gas ("CNG") from a potential Guercif production site to the Moroccan centres of industrial production. Potential market size and Indicative costs of CNG transportation will be related to the specific Moroccan infrastructure environment, which includes a railroad passing through Guercif linking Guercif to Morocco's industrial and commercial centres. This study will assess the potential for early monetisation of gas discovered at Guercif. Other options to develop an integrated gas business in Morocco are being assessed for regulatory, technical and commercial feasibility, including subsurface gas storage at Guercif in the context of security of energy supply and a Floating Storage and Regassification Unit ("FRSU"). Presence of gas infrastructure linking Morocco with Europe and the demand for both gas-to-power and to replace coal and oil to reduce carbon emissions is a scenario the Company is very familiar with in Ireland.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Predator, commented:

"Guercif is pivotal to the Company in terms of developing a gas business utilising the excellent infrastructure that exists in Morocco. We are ready to progress the drilling programme as soon as COVID-19 public health restrictions are eased to facilitate the recommencement of safe operations. We have used lockdown to define additional Guercif prospectivity and to review potential LNG markets suitable for FSRU penetration in those countries where management have a long history of experience and understanding. The business environment is changing, and we need to adapt to change and use this experience and understanding to maximise our business development opportunities. Post COVID-19 will require significant coordinated effort to re-build economies and natural gas will be an inevitable and pragmatic contributor to this evolutionary process, whilst providing jobs, government taxes and security of flexible energy supply necessary for inward investment."

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