Morocco is thought to have large reserves of shale gas, but its development has been hampered by the lack of reliable data needed to evaluate the commercial potential of the fields. Because of its strong potential but lack of reliable data, Morocco is an appropriate, perhaps ideal location for the application of a new approach we call “Touchstone Prospecting” for shale, that uses narrow probes in place of large exploration and evaluation wells.
According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), the potential for shale gas in Morocco is high but the potential for shale oil low (there is a possible source in the Western Sahara). Note that the jargon in the energy field distinguishes “shale oil” (high quality oil obtained from drilling) from “oil shale”, rock containing kerogen that can be mined (typically open pit) and converted to oil by pyrolysis (heating). Morocco has abundant oil shale but it is expensive to mine and process, and we are not considering it here.
According to the EIA, based on publicly available data, the Tindouf (Zag) and the Tadla Basins have the highest potential for shale gas in Morocco. Both regions are of interest to us, and the Tadla Basin is a particularly good match to our Touchstone approach. After we begin exploration and prove Touchstone prospecting can find economic shale gas in Morocco, we may decide to work in the Tindouf basin as well.