The rights for the Moulay Bouchta block, which spans an area of 458km2, have been given to SDX Energy for a period of eight years. The company will be the operator of the block with a working interest of 75%.

SDX Energy’s commitment will be to reprocess 150km of 2D seismic data, acquire 100km2 of new 3D seismic and also to undertake drilling of an exploration well within the first three-and-a-half-year period.

The other block – Lalla Mimouna Sud has been re-awarded to the company, which will be the operator with a working interest of 75%. The license will be for a period of eight years.

Lalla Mimouna Sud was part of the original set of concessions acquired by the oil and gas firm through the acquisition of Circle Oil in 2017.

According to SDX Energy, the concession license expired after all the work commitments were fulfilled. The company reapplied for the acreage after acquiring additional 3D seismic in the area.

SDX Energy’s commitment for the onshore block will be to acquire 50km2 of 3D seismic and take up drilling of an exploration well within the first three-year period.

SDX Energy president and CEO Paul Welch said: “We are very pleased to be expanding our acreage in Morocco, which we see as a key growth region for SDX going forward. Both of these permits offer significant underexplored hydrocarbon potential and are located adjacent to our existing operations and infrastructure, so can be tied into our facilities quickly.

“The award also gives SDX and its partner control over the entire onshore Gharb Basin.”

The North Africa-focused oil and gas company plans to drill 12 wells in Morocco this year. In Morocco, the company holds a 75% working interest in the Sebou concession situated in the Rharb Basin.

In July 2018, SDX Energy reported that it has found more gas reserves in the South Disouq Concession in the Nile Delta in Egypt through a gas discovery made at the SD-3X appraisal well.