Morocco showcases hydrocarbon potential

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), Morocco’s national oil company, on Thursday launched its second oil and gas national summit. Set up in line with the country’s objectives of becoming an energy hub in the coming years, the summit brings together ministers and representatives from several African countries, as well as the private sector, and aims to promote Morocco’s petroleum sector.

Although it neighbours oil and gas giant, Algeria; Morocco boasts strong, relatively untouched potential. Amina Benkhadra, Director-General of ONHYM, expressed during her opening statement: “With total exploration acreage close to 737,850.4km2 and a diversified portfolio of prospects which have not undergone drilling, Morocco displays a wide array of opportunities offshore Mediterranean and Atlantic and onshore, in the Paleozoic and the Cenozoic.”

According to Benkhadra, “Morocco shares geological similarities with some of the largest producing deposits worldwide.”

To the east, Algeria sits in the top three of Africa oil and gas players, both in production and reserves, and is an influential member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; to the west sits the Mauritania-Senegal-The Gambia-Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry Basin where world-class discoveries have been announced in the last five years and suggest the area for new results in the short-term.

Unveiling Morocco’s potential however, will require heavy expenditure and strong synergies.

The country already offers its partners some of the best fiscal terms worldwide. In addition, the office will provide future partners with a free seismic database featuring 60,000km2 of 3D data, 229,000km2 of 2D data and 87 wells. ONHYM is currently working on other deals to further sweeten the package, such as a modernization of the data to include the latest results.

Benkhadra finished by expressing the Kingdom’s will to continue South-South cooperation, like the Nigeria-Morocco agreement, which translated into the pipeline project between the two countries, providing natural gas to 15 West African countries in the process.