Oil and gas exploration: Morocco becomes the destination for foreign companies

For several investors and foreign oil and gas exploration companies, Morocco has become the ideal location for their numerous drilling and exploitation projects and operations. As a result, the number of these players has not ceased to grow since the recent announcements of discoveries, which note that the choice of Morocco emanates from its strategic position.

In two decades, between 2000 and 2022, exploration companies have successfully drilled a total of 67 wells, 40 of which revealed the presence of natural gas. These achievements, often shared via press releases and on social networks, have contributed to the attraction of a set of foreign companies wishing to expand their presence in Morocco.

In addition, data from the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, whose collection stopped at the end of 2020, reveals that 13 oil companies operated in Morocco in the context of research and exploitation of hydrocarbons and this over a total area of ​​126,913.28 km², comprising 8 hydrocarbon exploitation concessions, 54 research permits including 26 offshore and 3 reconnaissance authorizations including 1 offshore.

According to the same source, the hydrocarbon exploration work carried out during the year 2020, including the oil research work carried out by ONHYM and its partners, focused on the drilling of 5 exploration wells by the company “SDX ENERGY MOROCCO” in the onshore Gharb basin including 4 wells in the “Gharb Occidental” research permit and 1 well in the “Lalla Mimouna Nord” research permit, reprocessing/interpretation of 2D seismic data, reprocessing/interpretation of 3D seismic data and geological and geophysical studies and assessments.

National hydrocarbon production in 2020 reached 98.25 million cubic meters of natural gas and 4098 tons of condensate. As for investments, the amount had reached the same year a sum of 497.218 MDH.

To this end, MoroccoLatestNews asked Amin Bennouna, expert professor in energy at Cadi Ayyad University and director of the “Monograph of energy in Morocco” project, to explain the details of the choice of Morocco as the destination of exploitation, by these companies, which are mostly English companies. It thus indicates that Morocco, in its various regions, remains rich in capacities whichare already available on significant reserves estimated by a geological study previously carried out at around 600 billion cubic meters of natural gas“, citing as an example the fields of eastern Morocco, whose potential should begin to be exploited in terms of gas by the end of 2024.

It indicates in particular that investments in this area remain at very high risk, because it can happen that there is nothing where you dig» and that this type of project requires a large budget since the drilling of a single well is expensive.

The professor points out that in this area in particular, companies generally rely on structural studies that allow the detection of hydrocarbons. He adds that atAs an example, I would say that I will look for yellow gold so I will look in everything that is yellow and then see if it is gold. It’s a little bit the same kind of thing for gas“.

Recall that the very last company to announce its interest in exploitation is the gas producer NewMed Energy. The company concluded, this Tuesday, December 6, with the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines of Morocco (ONHYM), an agreement to explore in partnership with the company Adarco Energy, the area of ​​​​interest Boujdour Atlantique, a perimeter of 33,812 km² located in the territorial waters of Morocco.

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