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    Sound Energy Improves Moroccan Funding



UK-based Sound Energy said two transactions involving its Sidi Moktar licences will help fund exploration there and elsewhere in Morocco.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, News By Country, Morocco, Africa

Sound Energy Improves Moroccan Funding

Morocco and Italy-focused explorer Sound Energy on March 10 announced it had signed a binding agreement to acquire a 50% operating interest from Toronto-listed Petromaroc in three licences in Sidi Moktar, as per terms announced in January, covering 2,700 km² near Essaouira on Morocco's  Atlantic coast and containing the existing Kechoula gas discovery.

PetroMaroc in return gets £3.65mn ($5.2mn) worth of shares in Sound Energy; and a 10% net profit interest in any future cash flows from the Kechoula structure, plus a 5% net profit interest in any future cash flows from any other structures within the Sidi Moktar licences.

UK-based Sound Energy’s stake in the licences consequently increases from 25% to 75%.

However also on March 10 it announced heads of agreement to sell an indirect 50% interest in the Sidi Moktar licences to privately-owned Culebra Petroleum. The Guernsey-incorporated firm will pay Sound Energy $6mn cash and commit to fund Sidi Moktar investments of up $18mn (including a carry to Sound Energy of up to $4.5mn). Sound's CEO James Parsons said the $6mn cash will fund the firm's “counter-cyclical growth strategy".

Last month it bought an option to buy into the Meridja permit in northeast Morocco.

This is adjacent to Sound’s existing two Tendrara licences that include a gas discovery. US contractor Schlumberger is funding 80% of exploration drilling there, while Sound meets 20% of costs but retains a 27.5% interest. Tendrara has an 85.4bn ft3 resource base, the UK firm said recently.


Mark Smedley