(AIM:PRD ) is gearing up to restart operations after it noted the decision by the Morocco authorities to lift the country’s state of emergency on 10 July 2020.
Despite the government previously announcing that it had extended the lockdown period to July, some of the current restrictive measures have started to ease already.
The Jersey-based group said executing the proposed onshore drilling programme for the Guercif Permits I, II, III and IV ‘remains the most important single objective.’
"Guercif is pivotal to the Company in terms of developing a gas business utilising the excellent infrastructure that exists in Morocco,” said Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Predator.
“We are ready to progress the drilling programme as soon as COVID-19 public health restrictions are eased to facilitate the recommencement of safe operations,” he said.
Predator, operates Guercif via a joint venture with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines ("ONHYM") acting on behalf of the State, which holds 25% with Predator holding the remaining 75% interest.
The group said that during Morocco’s lockdown, the Star Valley Rig no. 101 rig at Guercif has remained securely stacked in the country ready for mobilisation when circumstances permit.
Shares in Predator Oil & Gas opened down 2.5% to 3.85p in early trade following the news.
Predator said NuTech, a group specialising in applying new technology to old well logs, has identified the upper part of the interval between 1,386 and 1,413 metres true vertical depth between kelly bushing (KB) in GRF-1 as a new additional target for the first exploration well.
A successful drilling result would prove the geological concept and de-risk a large area hitherto regarded as being less prospective and not included in estimates of potential gas resources.
Meanwhile, SLR Environmental Consulting (Ireland) Limited has been appointed to conduct a technical feasibility study to assess the potential for early monetisation of gas discovered at Guercif.
“We have used lockdown to define additional Guercif prospectivity and to review potential LNG markets suitable for FSRU penetration in those countries where management has a long history of experience and understanding,” said Griffiths.
He added that natural gas “will be an inevitable and pragmatic contributor” post COVID-19 in an effort to rebuild economies “providing jobs, government taxes and security of flexible energy supply necessary for inward investment."
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