Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) has awarded Chariot Oil & Gas Investments (Morocco) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cariot Oil & Gas Ltd., 75% interest and operatorship of the Mohammedia I-III offshore exploration permits. The permits are nearshore and cover 4,600 sq km in less than 500 m of water. They are adjacent to Chariot’s Rabat Deep offshore exploration permits (OGJ Online, Mar. 30, 2016).

In 2014, Chariot acquired 375 sq km of 3D seismic data in the precursor Mohammedia Reconnaisance license, from which the company identified several prospects including:

• EOP-1 and EOP-2 (Eo-Oligocene).

• LKP-1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b (Lower Cretaceous).

• JP-2 (Jurassic).

Netherland, Sewell & Associates Inc. audited these prospects with a gross mean resource ranging 50-289 million bbl.

The Jurassic carbonate shelf-edge system that makes up the JP-1 prospect in the Rabat Deep license is thought to lie along the western margin of the Mohammedia permits, the company said (OGJ Online, May 4, 2015). According to Chariot’s assessment, the carbonate shelf acts as a structural control on the overlying Early Cretaceous margin with the LKP prospects, which result from deposition of interpreted shallow-water deltaic clastics. Both the Eo-Oligocene and Lower Cretaceous prospects have seismic attributes that could indicate hydrocarbons, the company said.

As part of this acquisition, Chariot has committed to acquire 250 sq km of 3D seismic data where the LKP prospects extend outside its current data. The company will acquire an additional 2,000 km of 2D seismic over the remaining unexplored area of the permits. Both programs are likely to be carried out in 2017.

ONHYM maintains 25% interest in the Mohammedia permits.

In addition to its added acreage offshore Morocco, Chariot announced it will not enter into the first renewal phase of the C-19 license offshore Mauritania. The company acquired 3,500 sq km of 3D seismic data in 2013 and undertook reprocessing of legacy 2D seismic data along with seabed coring to perform an integrated analysis of the block.

Chariot cited the unsuccessful bid to acquire third party funding of an exploration well as the primary reason for exiting Mauritania. Cairn Energy PLC (OGJ Online, Aug. 8, 2013) was also a partner on C-19 (35%). Both companies will likely exit Mauritania.