Will Morocco Be a Future Gas and Oil Giant

Fez – Over the past two years, there has been an increasing and unprecedented interest from oil and gas companies around the world in engaging in exploration for oil and gas in Morocco.Global major oil and gas giants such as BP, Chevron, Kosmos, and Cairn have all targeted Morocco’s potentially significant offshore resources.Currently, there are 34 companies operating in Morocco in the framework of 131 offshore and onshore exploration permits, in addition to five reconnaissance licenses and nine exploitation concessions. There appears to be good potential that the money that is being spent by both the Moroccan government and the hydrocarbon companies will pay off.In a statement posted on its website on May 15, Dennis Sharp, the chairman of Longreach Oil & Gas said that the company has made a “substantial” gas discovery in the Sidi Mokhtar basin near Essaouira. “These are very promising exploration results from our second Moroccan well, which adds vital, new technical evidence to our growing understanding of the large resource potential in the Kechoula structure,” he noted. “Most importantly, our Kamar-1 well did not encounter any bottom water, which is excellent news for Longreach shareholders and our Moroccan partners,” he continued.According to the Moroccan daily Aujourd’hui le Maroc, China, which is closely following the great rush on oil and gas in Morocco speaks of natural gas reserves estimated at 292 billion cubic meters. These reserves could reach 776 billion cubic meters.On Friday, the National Office of hydrocarbons and mining (ONHYM) confirmed that encouraging gas indications were found in Sidi Mokhtar (Essaouira province) as part of an oil test drill carried out by the Longreach Oil & Gas Ltd company.“These indications are encouraging signs to continue the zone’s exploration through 3D seismic acquisition and the drilling of other wells,” ONHYM added.During the opening session of the Morocco Oil and Gas summit, which took place in Marrakech on May 7-8, the head of the ONHYM, Amina Benkhadra, was optimistic about the prospects of oil and gas in Morocco.In spite of the optimism expressed both by Moroccan officials and the chairman of Longreach Oil & Gas, Moroccans are skeptical regarding the possibility that their country sits on a consequential reserve of oil and gas. In the past, there have been instances when overoptimistic statements were made about the discovery of oil and gas in Morocco only for the Moroccan people to learn later that the statements were based on inaccurate data.For example, Moroccans still remember the case of Talsint, in eastern Morocco, when in August 2000 the Moroccan government announced the discovery of oil in the Talsint region. Just a few weeks later, the government reversed its assessment and said that such an announcement was inaccurate.Nevertheless, as previously reported by MWN, Morocco is still believed to have the world’s sixth largest reserves of oil shale in the world.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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