The Anchois gas field, located in the Lixus licence, is the first exploratory success located offshore Morocco.
The Lixus licence is jointly owned by operator Chariot (75%) and Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM, 25%).
Both the feasibility study and Morocco gas market monetisation assessment for the Anchois gas project development were completed in June 2019, followed by the award of a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract in June 2022.
The final investment decision (FID) on the project was expected by the end of 2022, while first gas is expected in 2024.
Anchois gas field location
The Anchois gas field is located in the Tanger-Larache exploration area of the Lixus licence, 40km off the coast of Morocco, in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Lixus licence is situated 30km north of Chariot’s Moroccan acreage. It spans an area of 1,794km² with water depths ranging up to 850m.
Chariot has found five more prospects with geological properties analogous in the Lixus licence.
Anchois field discovery, geology and reserves
The Anchois field was discovered by the Anchois-1 well, which was drilled in March 2009. The discovery was made by Dana Petroleum along with its partners Repsol and ONHYM.
The discovery well was drilled to a total depth of 2,435m in a water depth of 388m using the Pride North America rig. It encountered two intervals of gas-bearing sands as well as a combined gas column of approximately 90m, with an estimated net gas pay of 55m.
The second appraisal and exploration well, Anchois-2, was drilled to a total depth of 2,512m, using the Stena Don semi-submersible drilling platform, in January 2022.
Anchois-2 confirmed a net pay of 150m of good quality dry gas containing more than 96% methane.
Gas at the Anchois field is held in turbidite reservoirs of the tertiary age. The field is estimated to hold up to 1.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable gas resources.
Anchois field development details
The Anchois field development will be carried out in phases to allow gas to be supplied to different parts of the Moroccan gas market.
The first phase of development will include the drilling of four production wells, which will be tied into a subsea manifold. One of the four wells is expected to be drilled during the appraisal stage and later completed as a producer.
The first phase will also involve the installation of a 14in-diameter, 40km-long subsea flowline with control umbilical to the subsea manifold, construction of an onshore central processing facility for exporting gas, and a 14in-diameter onshore pipeline for gas export.
The phase two development plan will include additional wells to tie in the Anchois W, Anchois WSW and Anchois SW field areas to the subsea manifold.
The second phase will be financed using the cash flow generated from the first phase’s production.
Gas transportation details
Gas will be supplied domestically and internationally using the Maghreb-Europe gas (MEG) pipeline, which is owned and operated by ONHYM. The MEG pipeline extends across Morocco, connecting the Hassi R’Mel gas field in Algeria to the Strait of Gibraltar and the Iberian Peninsula, where it merges into a network of European gas pipelines.
Chariot signed a pipeline tie-in agreement with ONHYM for the Anchois gas field in September 2022.
Drilling equipment details
The Pride North America drilling rig was built by Friede and Goldman in 1998. It is currently known as ENSCO 5006 and classified as an ABS with Maltese Cross 1A1 Column Stabilised drilling unit.
The rig can operate in a maximum water depth of 7,500ft to a drilling depth of 25,000ft. It is equipped with a Derrick loadmaster and can accommodate 120 people.
The Stena Don semi-submersible drilling rig can operate at a water depth of 8,500m and is equipped with Class 3 dynamic positioning (DP3) and POSMOOR ATAR eight-point mooring systems. It can accommodate 140 people.
Stena Drilling was contracted to drill the Anchois-2 appraisal well using the Stena Don drilling rig in September 2021.
Chariot signed a letter of intent with oilfield service company Halliburton to provide well services for the project in September 2021.
UK-based investment bank and financial services company Societe Generale was selected to provide financial advisory services in securing debt funding for the project in April 2022.
Netherland Sewell and Associates, an oil and gas consulting firm based in Texas, US, was previously engaged to prepare the independent Competent Persons Report for the Anchois gas field.