Morocco awards two offshore concessions

Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) has signed petroleum agreements for two offshore exploration permits.

Offshore staff

RABAT -- Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) has signed petroleum agreements for two offshore exploration permits.

ONHYM will participate in both cases as part of a consortium led by Island International Exploration Morocco, a subsidiary of Island Oil & Gas. The other partner is London-based Serica Energy.

The contiguous Sidi Moussa and Foum Draa offshore concessions cover a total area of around 12,700 sq km (4,903 sq mi) in the Agadir basin, a little explored region 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Agadir.

Both agreements are valid for eight years. Initial commitments comprise reprocessing of seismic and geological studies, with a drill-or-drop decision to be taken at the end of these early phases.

Over 5,200 sq km (2,008 sq mi) of 3D seismic and over 2,000 km (1,243 mi) of 2D data has been acquired fairly recently over the two permits. The geological setting, on the Atlantic Margin, is said to be analogous to and on trend with oil-producing basins in West Africa.

Previous operators drew up an inventory of over 40 prospects and leads from an extensive grid of seismic data. Prospective areas extend from the Moroccan coast into water depths of up to 2,000 m (6,562 ft).

Morocco’s fiscal regime is said to be relatively generous compared with others in North and West Africa. State participation is mandatory on production of up to 25%, with 10% royalty on oil production (after the first 300,000 metric tons, or 330,693 tons) and 5% royalty on gas (after the first 300 MMcf).

06/19/2009

More in Geosciences