Circle Oil resumes Moroccan operations

Circle Oil said that drilling and tie-in operations on its Sebou and Oulad N'Zala licenses in Morocco's Rharb basin are now back on track after recent severe flooding in the region has receded.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 17 -- Circle Oil PLC said that drilling and tie-in operations on its Sebou and Oulad N'Zala licenses in Morocco's Rharb basin are now back on track after recent severe flooding in the region has receded.

"Following the abnormally high rainfall of the past winter, there was serious flooding over the whole of the Rharb basin, and we had no alternative but to delay some of these operations," said David Hough, Circle Oil chief executive officer.

The floodwaters have subsided, and Circle Oil's operations have recommenced with the spudding of the DRJ-6 well on the Sebou permit and the tie-in of the ONZ-6 discovery on the Oulad N'Zala permit.

Circle Oil said the ONZ-6 discovery is producing gas "by way of a revenue-earning extended well test" and that it "should lead into continuous production and allow a fuller assessment of reserves."

Road access and platform construction are under way on the final two locations of the company's six-well program, and work on the tie-in for the CGD-9 and KSR-8 wells is progressing.

In February Circle Oil reported a third discovery northeast of Rabat on the Sebou permit, saying that the ONZ-4 well was on production and that ONZ-6, CGD-9, and KSR-8 were ready to be connected (OGJ Online, Feb. 16, 2009).

Last September Circle Oil said it raised $30 million from Libya's multibillion dollar investment fund to push forward its exploration program in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Libya Oil Holdings Ltd., a unit of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, which was set up by the Libyan government to provide cash for African development, took a 29.66% stake in Circle Oil, while Icelandic bank Kaupthing Bank HF invested $15 million for a 15.61% stake.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

More in Drilling & Production