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Sound Energy confirms Nervesa start-up

First gas at Nervesa, onshore Italy, marks an important achievement to kick off a busy year for Sound Energy.

Nervesa successfully began commercial production on February 3.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU) has confirmed the start of production from the Nervesa gas field, onshore Italy.

The Nervesa well successfully began commercial production on February 3, the company said in a statement.

Production rates will be announced in due course, it added. First an initial clean-up phase will be completed and then the stable flow rates will be assessed.

"First gas at Nervesa is a landmark event for the company, providing energy to a robust domestic market and further underpinning our broader Mediterranean expansion," said James Parsons, Sound's chief executive.

Nervesa’s first well, drilled in 2013, was a success and while a follow up last year disappointed the project remains a valuable asset for Sound.

It should add important production volumes to the group’s steadily growing profile in Italy, where since 2013 it has previously started up two smaller fields.

With the Nervesa now coming online the attention will turn increasing towards recently acquired projects in Morocco, where further production growth is targeted.

Sound expects to start drilling its first well at the Tendrara licence, in north east Morocco, within the coming weeks.

The company sealed its deal to acquire up to a 55% stake in Tendrara (or Tendrara Lakbir) in December and it is now progressing a programme to drill up to three wells. The programme’s aim is to appraise what could be a significant project and ideally prove-up enough gas to justify investments necessary to install necessary infrastructure.

Initially, Sound it committed to drilling just the first well (and until to commits to a second it will have 37.5% of the asset).

In this morning’s statement Sound told investors it would be switching its webcam stream, which had been watching progress at Nervesa, to the Tendrara well site.

Earlier this month, Sound further expanded its footprint in Morocco with a deal to take 75% of the Sidi Moktar project, in the north west of the country.

Like Tendrara, Sidi Moktar hosts a potentially large gas project that requires some further work and testing before a field development. Here, Sound is talking to potential farm-in partners but could still anticipate first gas production later in 2016.

Nervesa’s start-up marks an important achievement to kick off a busy year.

Quick facts: Sound Energy PLC

Price: 1.44 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £16.73 m

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