LONDON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Gulfsands Petroleum, a company exploring the emerging shale potential in Morocco, said Tuesday exploration results there were better than expected.
The company said its drilling operations in a permit area in northern Morocco were completed two days ahead of schedule and yielded "significantly elevated gas readings."
Mahdi Sajjad, the company's chief executive officer, said in a statement the results so far are the best the company has achieved to date in Morocco.
"We look forward to completing the well and observing the production performance during well clean-up operations," he said.
Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves.
During the first quarter of 2014, the company, which has headquarters in London, said it planned to spend $3.5 million to develop newly-acquired acreage in northern Morocco.
The country holds about 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale oil and natural gas reserves.