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Morocco: Capricorn to operate Foum Draa permits

Cairn Energy PLC said its Capricorn Exploration & Development Co. Ltd. will take the lead in exploring the Foum Draa area offshore Morocco, subject to regulatory approval.

Cairn will acquire a 50% operated interest in the Foum Draa permits from the present participants, Serica Foum Draa BV, San Leon Offshore Morocco BV, and Longreach Oil & Gas Ventures Ltd. The three companies hold a combined 75% equity interest, and Morocco’s ONHYM has 25% carried during the exploration and appraisal stage.

Cairn will pay its equity interest share of $1.5 million in past costs and the first $60 million towards the drilling of the commitment well required in the first extension period including the costs relating to ONHYM’s carried interest.

As a result of the farmout, Serica will hold 8.3333% interest, San Leon 14.1667%, and Longreach 2.5%.

Cairn, through its acquisition of Nautical Petroleum PLC in June 2012, also has a 37.5% operated interest in the Cap Juby Maritime license off Morocco. Barrus Petroleum has 37.5% and ONHYM 25%.

That license includes the Cap Juby heavy oil accumulation and other oil plays in Mesozoic sequences in a basin with proven hydrocarbon potential. A 3D seismic survey is planned for 2012, and older data will be reprocessed to target deeper light oil objectives. A decision on future drilling will be subject to evaluation of the new data.

The block covers 5,600 sq km in 100-1,500 m of water off southern Morocco.

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