Moroccan gas project comes another step closer to sanctioning as ‘key building block’ falls into place
Africa-focused energy company Chariot has secured a stamp of approval from the Moroccan Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development for its environmental impact assessment (EIA) on its flagship gas project located within the Lixus license offshore Morocco. This green light is seen as a very important step toward the final investment decision for this development.
According to Chariot, the EIA process for the Anchois gas development project offshore Morocco was conducted over a 12-month period and was informed by onshore and offshore environmental and social baseline surveys, an open and transparent stakeholder engagement program held in conjunction with relevant parties, and a public inquiry process which spanned four local provinces.
Furthermore, the final report sets out the requisite planning, mitigation, and monitoring measures to follow during construction and production. Chariot’s EIA, which integrates recommendations from the National Environmental Committee, is valid for five years and covers all aspects of the development including future wells and offshore infrastructure, the onshore Central Process Facility, and link to the GME pipeline.
Pierre Raillard, Head of Gas Business and Morocco Country Director at Chariot, commented: “Securing approval of this EIA is a major milestone for Anchois and is the culmination of extensive time and teamwork that has gone into this critical process. This is a key building block for sanctioning the project’s development, alongside other activities such as our partnering process which is close to conclusion.
“On behalf of Chariot, I would like to thank the National Environmental Committee and the Ministry for their endorsement and support. I would also like to thank the Chariot team, our partner ONHYM and our consultants who collaborated so closely across all workstreams. We are fully committed to ensuring that Anchois is developed in line with best practice as set out in the report.”
Moreover, Chariot completed the FEED stage – initiated in June 2022 – for the Anchois development in March 2023, bringing the project closer to the first gas. The Lixus offshore license area, containing the Anchois gas field, is operated by Chariot, which has a 75% interest while its partner, ONHYM, holds the remaining 25% interest. A few months ago, Chariot entered into a partnership agreement with Vivo Energy to develop the gas-to-industry market in Morocco to enable further commercialization of future gas production from Anchois.
The initial development covers three subsea producer wells, including the Anchois-2 well drilled with Stena Drilling’s Stena Don rig in 2022, and subsea infrastructure (SURF and SPS) capable of delivering produced hydrocarbons from the wells to the onshore facilities via a subsea flowline and controlling the wells via an umbilical, with future expansion capabilities to tie back additional wells.
In addition, the development entails the onshore central processing facility (CPF) to process the hydrocarbons and to deliver treated gas and condensate to market, with an initial capacity of 105 mmscfd; and the onshore gas pipeline to deliver the gas to the anchor gas offtakers via the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline (GME), for which a tie-in agreement was signed.