Sound Energy, the Moroccan focused upstream gas company, announced on 6 November 2019 that the Company had entered into non-binding heads of terms (HOT) agreement with a privately-owned UK registered company specialising in energy asset development and investment in relation to a proposed sale of a substantial proportion of the Company's interest in the Eastern Morocco Portfolio.
Under the terms of the HOT, the Company had granted to the Purchaser an exclusivity period expiring on 14 February 2020 to complete due diligence on the Eastern Morocco Portfolio and to finalise a binding sale and purchase agreement for the Proposed Transaction.
The Company announces that, whilst the Purchaser has confirmed the satisfactory conclusion of its technical and commercial due diligence to the Company, the Purchaser has not yet demonstrated to the Company's satisfaction the proof of funds required in order to advance the Proposed Transaction and nor has a sale and purchase agreement been finalised. Accordingly, discussions continue with the Purchaser but these discussions are no longer exclusive and there can be no certainty that the Proposed Transaction will proceed or will successfully conclude.
Whilst the Company has continued to pursue the full Field Development Plan underpinning the Tendrara Production Concession award centred around a 120 km pipeline infrastructure, as announced on 6 September 2018, the Company announces that it now plans to prioritise early first cash flows from the Concession and consequently plans to pursue a micro liquified natural gas ('LNG') production plan for the TE-5 Horst field within the Concession ahead of the full Field Development Plan being implemented. The implementation of the micro LNG production plan will require, inter alia, the agreement of the Company's joint venture partners in the Concession.
The Company will, therefore, seek to advance development of the TE-5 Horst field through an innovative, fast-track, cost efficient, micro LNG scheme targeting first LNG delivery during 2021. The proposed micro LNG production plan, which will be advanced alongside workstreams related to the full Field Development Plan (including ongoing negotiations with Morocco's Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable in relation to a gas sales agreement and discussions in relation to full Field Development Plan funding solutions), will involve the processing and liquification of the gas produced at the field with the resulting LNG being transported to industrial customer sites in Morocco.
This micro LNG production plan for the TE-5 Horst is viewed by the Company as an attractive route to generating early cash flows from the Concession. The larger full pipeline led development plan can then be added to this initial plan at a later date, given the inherently longer timescales involved in its implementation.
The Company is in discussions with industrial customers and distributors in Morocco regarding the long-term offtake of LNG from the Concession and negotiations with equipment providers and potential funding partners for the micro LNG production plant are in progress. Subject to the Company's joint venture partners in the Concession agreeing to the micro LNG production plan, the Company expects that it would be in a position to take a final investment decision on this development solution during Q2 2020, which would enable first LNG delivery during 2021.
As at 31 January 2020 the Company had unaudited cash balances of approx. US$7.3 million and the Company expects that its existing cash resources are sufficient to meet the Company's working capital requirements through to a micro LNG production plan final investment decision before the end of Q2 2020.
The Company intends to hold an investor event in late March/early April 2020 details of which will be announced in due course.
Further announcements will be made, as appropriate, in due course
Mohammed Seghiri, Sound Energy's Acting Chief Executive Officer, commented:
'While discussions with the potential Purchaser continue, the Board has been active in considering and refining in parallel other options to monetise its asset at Tendrara. We continue to believe that we have a valuable position in the Moroccan energy sector encompassing a significant discovery in Tendrara with exciting additional exploration upside potential. The micro LNG development plan has been identified as an initial and rapid development strategy to prioritise early monetisation of the existing gas discovery, which can in turn facilitate a larger ultimate development. I look forward to reporting further on our progress in due course.'