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UK's Predator eyes bid for Morocco floating LNG import terminal


Already active in upstream gas sector in Morocco

Morocco inviting FSRU bids by end-May

Predator also eyeing FSRU in Ireland

UK-listed Predator Oil & Gas is submitting a bid to build and operate a floating LNG import terminal in Morocco, the company said May 24, after the country's energy ministry in April invited bids with a deadline of May 31.

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Predator is already active in the upstream in Morocco as it looks the develop gas at its Guercif license onshore northern Morocco, and is also hoping to develop a floating LNG import terminal in Ireland.

The initial scope of the FSRU project in Morocco is for an annual requirement of 1.1 Bcm by 2025 rising to 1.7 Bcm in 2030 and 3 Bcm in 2040, Predator said in a statement.

Morocco currently has only small gas consumption, estimated at a little over 1 Bcm/year, and sources its gas from Algeria as part of its agreement to transit Algerian gas to Spain.

However, it is looking increasingly to gas and renewables to reduce its coal-fired power generation.

Predator said the FSRU project in Morocco was envisaged to be a much longer-term project that does not compete with the company's short- and medium-term plans to develop Guercif.

"It is potentially a complementary addition to the company's business development strategy for Morocco to increase both materiality and the potential for future gas exports to Europe once the domestic Moroccan gas market reaches capacity," it said.

Guercif is located near the GME gas pipeline to Spain and could support "multiple development scenarios" both for the domestic and international gas markets, it said.

Predator -- which was awarded the Guercif license in March 2019 -- has estimated its prospective resources at the site at some 474 Bcf (13.4 Bcm) with considerable upside potential.

Ireland project

Predator said negotiations also continued regarding additional collaboration agreements with relation to both the Morocco LNG project and its plans for an FSRU in Ireland.

Predator is looking at developing a 2.6 Bcm/year terminal in Ireland.

However, on May 18 the Irish government approved a policy statement that includes a moratorium on the development of all LNG import terminals pending the completion of a review of the country's supply security.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, a spokesperson for Ireland's Department of Environment, Climate and Communications told S&P Global Platts on May 21.

The Irish coalition government formed in June last year made it a policy pledge not to allow the import of LNG produced from shale gas, with the new policy statement confirming that Dublin "does not support the importation of fracked gas."

Predator -- which has not responded to requests for comment on the moratorium -- made no mention of the Irish government's position in its statement on May 24.

However, it has said in the past that the FSRU would not source LNG produced from shale gas.

Ireland has no LNG import infrastructure at present, but two projects are still under development -- the Predator FSRU and US company New Fortress Energy's Shannon LNG terminal.

Ireland is reliant on its only major producing field Corrib and UK gas imports to meet its demand requirements of around 5 Bcm/year.