Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has secured another area offshore Morocco by taking up a reconnaissance license with the country’s national oil company over an ultradeepwater block adjacent to permits it farmed into with Chariot Oil & Gas in July.
Woodside has entered into a contract with the Office National de Hydrocarbures et des Mines for an exclusive license known as the Rabat Ultra Deep Offshore in the under-explored Doukkala basin.
Water depths range 1,700-4,400 m. The block is just west of the Rabat Deep I-VI permits in which Woodside previously acquired 25% interest.
Commitments under the reconnaissance work program include a 2D seismic survey and geological studies to be completed within 12 months.
Both it and the Chariot deal are subject to ministerial approval, which is notoriously slow in Morocco.
Woodside says it is not deterred by the overall lack of success in exploring the country’s offshore region. Morocco has a well density of just one well per 10,000 sq km compared to a global average of 80 wells per 10,000 sq km.
The company’s initial agreement with Chariot includes an option to acquire an additional 25% interest along with operatorship in the seven permits in return for a capped well carry obligation within four blocks covering 10,782 sq km.