File photo: Mladen Antonov.

Rabat - Circle Oil has found natural gas on three levels after drilling within the Sebou onshore permit, Morocco's Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining said on Thursday.

It is the second positive announcement after Longreach earlier this year said it had found encouraging signs in the Kamar-1 gas well, located at Sidi Moktar, near the southern city of Essaouira.

“The drilling has encountered signs of gas in three levels. The records have confirmed the presence of gas at those levels,” the statement said.

The SAH-W1 well is located in the central zone of the Sebou permit (near the city of Kenitra), and its drilling started on May 19 and reached a depth of 1,263 metres.

Morocco is planning to drill around 30 oil and gas wells in 2014 as part of the kingdom's expansion in exploration.

The country has been helped by its relative stability compared with other North African countries and by increasing indications of potential offshore and onshore reserves.

It has succeeded in attracting companies such as Chevron , Cairn Energy and BP, which have been awarded contracts by ONHYM.

U.S Chevron said earlier this month it needed at least two and a half years to gather seismic data before deciding whether to stay in Morocco.