sábado, 6 de junho de 2009

Drilling plans onshore Western Sahara

In January, Western Sahara Resource Watch wrote that Morocco had issued several new licences for exploration onshore Western Sahara.

Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco, and the issuing of such licences is taking place in disregard of international law, as summarized in a legal opinion from the United Nations in 2002.

Now, more details of Morocco’s plans have been released.
For the Boujdour onshore block, which ONHYM awarded to itself probably as early as in 2007, there are plans for exploration drilling and seismic interpretation some time during 2009.

The drilling is a so-called stratigraphic core test (puits stratigraphique), which is done to establish the nature of the geology of an area, in order to find out whether it can potentially contain oil/gas or not.

There are also plans of seismic 2D acquisition on the Island/San Leon/Longreach blocks in the El Aaiun area - or the so-called "Tarfaya block".

Morocco plans to carry out exploration drilling onshore occupied Western Sahara.

This information was given in a presentation on 6 March 2009 during a conference in Rabat arranged by the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment. Download the entire conference programme here.

The information was given by M'Hamed El Mostaine, Director of Exploration at ONHYM, in a speech called “L’exploration petrolière au Maroc: Des Potentialités Peu Explorées".

In addition to the already mentioned ONHYM blocks and the Island/San Leon/Longreach block in the El Aaiun area, there is currently one more onshore operation in Western Sahara, in Smara, by the same Island/San Leon/Longreach consortium. ONHYM has also announced that there are plans of issuing licences onshore the Dakhla area.

The major part of Western Sahara was occupied by Morocco in the period from 1975 to 1979.

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