Inezgane Permit, Offshore Morocco
Europa holds a 75% interest in, and is operator of, the large Inezgane Permit (‘Inezgane’), offshore Morocco. Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (‘ONHYM’) holds the remaining 25% interest in Inezgane, which covers an area of 11,228 km2 in the Agadir Basin and lies in water depths of 600m to 2,000m.
With only 10 deepwater wells drilled to date, offshore Morocco is a relatively underexplored region. While a commercial discovery has yet to be made, one of these ten wells, the CB-1 which was drilled offshore Southern Morocco, encountered 14m of gas condensate in Albian sandstones. Of the 10 historic wells, eight targeted clastic reservoirs, essentially turbidite sands, while the remaining two targeted Jurassic carbonates. Although there is potential for reservoirs throughout the stratigraphic section on the Inezgane Permit, Europa’s primary focus is on the hitherto underexplored Lower Cretaceous fan sand play, a prolific producer in West Africa – of the eight wells targeting turbidite sands only three penetrated below the Base Cretaceous.
Due to the Europa team’s expertise in and knowledge of Lower Cretaceous plays in the Irish Atlantic Margin, Inezgane represents an excellent technical and strategic fit with Europa’s acreage in the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland. Europa has identified that the key elements required for a working hydrocarbon system, namely source, reservoir and seal, are all present in the Licence area. In terms of source rocks there are a number of candidates at various stratigraphic levels based on samples (well cuttings, oil typing and outcrop) and shows. These include the Cenomanian-Turonian; Albian-Aptian; Barremian and older; and the Upper Jurassic.
Europa’s geological model is centred on Lower Cretaceous sediment input emanating from the present-day Essaouira and Souss rivers depositing turbidites in the Inezgane Permit. Support for the model is drawn from present-day canyoning evident on seabed maps. In addition, thin turbidite sands of Lower Cretaceous age were encountered in wells Rak-1 and DSDP 416 and are exposed on the island of Feurteventura. Thick turbidite sst units in deepwater wells drilled to date has so far been elusive, however these wells targeted salt-related structures where the Lower Cretaceous has thinned and where reservoir risk is higher. Europa has already identified on 3D seismic a number of large structural traps located on the edges and above salt diapirs where the Lower Cretaceous remains thick and where reservoir risk is reduced. Each of these structures has the potential to hold significant quantities of hydrocarbons of up to 250MMBO.
Europa’s forward plan is initially centred on a low cost work programme including seismic reprocessing to mature these potentially large stacked structures to drillable status over the next 2-years with a view to attracting partners to carry Europa for an exploration well in 2021 or 2022. Europa believes if the Lower Cretaceous play can be unlocked enormous upside lies within the rest of the permit area.