The company won the Lixus offshore licence through its subsidiary Chariot Oil & Gas Holdings (Morocco), and will be partnered by the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) which holds the remaining 25% stake.

The Lixus offshore licence is spread over an area of nearly 2,390km2, and is contained in water depths ranging from the coastline to 850m.

According to Chariot Oil & Gas, the awarded licence area had previously seen exploration with legacy 3D seismic data covering nearly 1,425km2 and four exploration wells, including the Anchois gas discovery.

The drilling of the Anchois-1 well in 2009 in 388m water depth yielded an estimated net gas pay of 55m in two sands with average porosities in the range of 25-28%.

Chariot Oil & Gas said that a new independent audit by Netherland Sewell and Associates (NSAI) of the discovery estimates a 2C contingent resource of 307Bcf.

The UK-based oil and gas company claimed to have identified five satellite prospects to the Anchois discovery that have potential for a tie-back.

Chariot Oil & Gas has identified five more prospects in the Lixus offshore licence in similar geological settings as the Anchois discovery. The five prospects are estimated to have gross mean prospective resources in the range of 66-330Bcf, said the Atlantic margins focused oil and gas company.

The initial commitment for the Lixus offshore licence includes a technical program of 3D seismic reprocessing and evaluation to access the additional exploration potential of the awarded acreage.

Chariot Oil & Gas will also undertake further evaluation of the gas market, test development concepts through a feasibility study and look out for partnerships and alliances to push towards developing the Anchois discovery.

Chariot Oil & Gas CEO Larry Bottomley said: “The award of the Lixus licence provides Chariot with a discovered resource base offering a low-cost development opportunity and significant upside. The commercial attractiveness of the Lixus licence is further enhanced by its position offshore Morocco, a fast growing energy market with high gas prices and a need for increased supply.

“In addition to the development opportunity, the licence offers very low risk exploration tie-back potential in the same play; and higher risk, transformational lead potential in the sub-nappe.”