Oil & Gas. Morocco draws energy hub

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Yesterday, at the opening of the 2nd Moroccan Oil and Gas Summit, which continues today in Marrakech, the teams of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines have deployed a treasure trove of ingenuity to attract investors.

Morocco is weaving its web of future energy hub. It is with this intention that the holding of the 2nd edition of the Moroccan summit of oil and gas, which continues today in Marrakech. Indeed, the objective of ONHYM (National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines), the host of this meeting, which is attended by ministers, representatives of several African countries, experts from the oil and gas industry and some of its partners, is to leave with contracts that will allow it to further strengthen the upstream energy sector through the revitalization of oil and gas exploration where Morocco has enormous potential.

Geological diversity
"With a total exploration area of around 737,850.4 km² and a diversified prospect portfolio not yet tested by drilling, Morocco has a wide range of exploration opportunities offering our partners a a great geological diversity from Paleozoic to Cenozoic onshore, and in the Mediterranean and Atlantic offshore areas, "confirmed Amina Benkhadra, Executive Director of ONHYM in her speech at the opening of the summit. Hydrocarbons exist in Morocco in different sedimentary sequences, from Paleozoic to Neogene. They are represented by various deposits of oil and gas with biogenic gas in the Rharb, condensate and / or thermogenic gas in Essaouira and the Hauts Plateaux, light oil in Essaouira and Pre-Rif, and heavy oil in the offshore areas of Tarfaya and Agadir. In addition, numerous oil seeps in the Rifain and Atlas areas and oil and gas showings were recorded during drilling in most of Morocco's sedimentary basins. So, the hope of one day finding oil in Morocco is allowed. According to Amina Benkhadra, "Morocco shares many geological similarities with the largest producing deposits in the world". In the East, the geology of Morocco represents the continuity of the prolific triassic province of Algeria and the Saharan Hercynian platform. In the west, the kingdom is bordered by the Meso-Cenozoic Atlantic passive margin, where world-class discoveries have been made, notably in the Mauritania – Senegal – Gambia – Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry (MSGBC) basin, which have the potential of a new deep-water oil province. To the west, it is important to emphasize the geological similarities with Nova Scotia on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

A great potential to value
That being said, Amina Benkhadra is aware that "developing this potential and ensuring that Morocco contributes to global energy supply requires a cross-border partnership and a commitment to innovation, investment and integration". Valuing this potential will require, in fact, large-scale financial investments from future partners of the kingdom. That is why ONHYM began to mark the ground, especially by acting on several axes. ONHYM offers its partners one of the best tax terms in the world. The office also provides a free database consisting of 60,000 km² of 3D seismic data, 229,000 km2 of 2D seismic data and 87 wells. This without forgetting the new modern database being acquired, new play concepts developed and new discoveries made. Amina Benkhadra has also dwelt for a long time on the South-South cooperation of Morocco in energy, especially on the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline project with a bright future. However, are all these arguments made by ONHYM sufficient to attract new investors in upstream energy in Morocco? The Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah (pictured) is formal: "The Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline is not a commercial project. When it was launched, the ruler himself ensured that it was a true strategic partnership, with all that this word covers, between the 12 countries crossed along its route. And it is on this same pattern that we are also working internally. " In other words, this pipeline will never be a tool of political pressure, like what we see between Russia and the EU.

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