Morocco Signs Oil Drilling Contract with French Firm

Published October 20th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Moroccan Oil Exploration Office (ONAREP) on Friday concluded an oil drilling contract with French Totalfinael company, Morocco’s official news agency (MAP) reported. 

The contract, according to MAP, provides for drilling operations by the company over an area of 114,556 square meters in the offshore zone of Dakhla (southern Morocco).  

The 12-month license provides for the carrying out by the company of geological and geophysical studies to assess the hydrocarbon potential in the area, it added. 

Morocco contains insignificant proven oil reserves of 1.8 million barrels, although most sedimentary basins (especially offshore on the Atlantic continental shelf) in the country have not been explored. 

At present, the country relies on imports (mainly from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria) for nearly all of its oil needs, except for about 200 barrels per day from its Sidi Rhalem field, located in the Essaouira Basin. This could change in coming years with the possibly significant discovery in August 2000 by Lone Star, a local subsidiary of US-based Skidmore, of oil at Talsint, near the border with Algeria. Initial reports indicated that Talsint contained as much as 20 billion barrels equivalent of oil and natural gas – 

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