Irish oil company wants to speed up oil hunt

The Irish oil company Island Oil and Gas - and their partners in San Leon - today announced their intention to upgrade their licence in occupied Western Sahara from a frontier licence to an exploration licence.
Published: 25.02 - 2009 12:37Printer version    
A similar statement from Island's partner San Leon Energy, is to be found at the bottom.

See their press release here

Press Release
Island Oil and Gas
25 February 2009

Moroccan operational update
-Aeromag survey defined promising structures
-Imminent negotiations with ONHYM to upgrade Frontier licence into Exploration Licence
-Highly positive regional moves: discoveries and international major farm ins Island Oil & Gas, the Irish exploration and production company with an international portfolio is very pleased to note today’s statement by San Leon, operator of the Joint Venture set up to explore the Zag basin, onshore Morocco.

Aeromagnetic surveys have defined a number of promising structures. The results of the survey have greatly encouraged the joint venture (Island 20%) and negotiations are to commence on upgrading the Reconnaissance Licence to a full Exploration Licence.

In addition, Island notes the highly positive regional news of both new discoveries on the Algerian side of the basin and the entrance of international major RWE to the licence adjacent to Island’s.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Island Oil & Gas commented:

“All of these moves are highly positive in both a regional and specific context. The entrance of such a major company as RWE to the adjacent licence validates our first mover activity.

The results from the aeromag, whilst very early, are very exciting. With excellent terms currently being offered in Morocco, we look forward to the future with confidence”

25 February 2009


Island Oil & Gas plc
Paul Griffiths
Carl Kindinger
Tel: +353 1 6313755

Davy (NOMAD and broker)      
Anthony Farrell
Tel: +353 1 679 6363  

College Hill (Financial PR)  
Paddy Blewer  
Nick Elwes
Tel: +44 (0)20 7457 2020  

Moroccan Operational Update

San Leon Energy Plc ("San Leon" or "the Group")
Initial work on Zag License completed

Aeromagnetic survey has illustrated promising structures
60km anticline worthy of significant further interest
San Leon to commence negotiations with Moroccan Government to upgrade to a full Exploration Licence
Tindouf-Reggane Basin highly prospective
New discoveries made on the Algerian side of the Tindouf-Reggane Basin confirm prospectivity
Repsol discovery at North Reggane flowed 22.2 MM cu ft/day
New RWE farm-in to Moroccan licence adjacent to San Leon's

San Leon Energy Plc (SLE.L), an international oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that it has completed its work obligations on their Zag Reconnaissance License in the western part of the highly prospective Tindouf-Reggane Basin (known as "Zag" on the Moroccan side) in Morocco.  As a result of the positive results received from this work the Company has decided to continue exploring Zag and will commence negotiations with ONHYM in the very near future to upgrade the Reconnaissance Licence to a full Exploration Licence.

San Leon Energy's high resolution aeromagnetic survey, which was integrated with surface and subsurface data, indicated some very large structures; including a 60 km long anticline with the potential for hydrocarbon reserves.  

Several significant discoveries have now been made on the Algerian side of this basin complex by Repsol and partners RWE DEA, Sonatrach, and Edison.  The most recent discovery by the Repsol Group was in their North Reggane concession with a well that flow tested 629,000 cu m/day (22.2 MM cu ft/day).  Repsol's holdings have been reported to be 145 million boe on the eastern side of the Tindouf-Reggane Basin.

The Moroccan side of the Tindouf/Reggane Basin has remained virtually unexplored but since the petroleum system has been shown to be geologically similar across the vast basin, San Leon hope to make similar discoveries in Morocco as Repsol has in Algeria. The Board is also of the opinion that Morocco has arguably one of the best petroleum licensing regimes in the world.

The Board are also encouraged by the recent RWE DEA farm-in to the licence adjacent and to the north of San Leon's Zag License.  This is RWE's first move into Morocco and is seen by the Board as highly encouraging.

San Leon operates the Zag Reconnaissance License with a 50% stake and partner Island Oil and Gas Plc has a 20% interest.  The other partner is Longreach Oil and Gas with 30%.

Phil Thompson, CEO of San Leon Energy commented

"Our aeromagnetic survey has fully justified the management team's belief that the Zag (Tindouf) Basin, and our licence in particular has potential.

When combined with the discoveries on the Algerian side of the basin and the highly attractive terms currently in place throughout Morocco, we could only be optimistic.

The next task is to identify opportunities to further narrow drilling targets; unlocking what we believe to be serious value in this licence."

25 February 2009

For further information, please contact:

San Leon Energy Plc
Oisin Fanning, Chairman
Phil Thompson, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: + 353 1291 6292

Daniel Stewart & Co. Plc
Graham Webster/Stewart Dick
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550

College Hill Associates
Paddy Blewer/Nick Elwes
Tel: +44 (0) 207 457 2020

Qualified person
Philip Thompson has over twenty five years experience in the oil & gas industry. He has an M.Sc. in Geophysics from Southern Methodist University and a B.Sc. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University.




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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