Officials Optimistic about Future of Oil and Gas in Morocco

Rabat – Fastnet Oil & Gas revealed earlier this week on their website that the Foum Assaka FA-1 well in the Agadir basin “encountered oil and gas shows and demonstrated a working system; however, commercial volumes of hydrocarbons were not found.” “The FA-1 well has been drilled to total depth within budget,” said Paul Griffiths, managing director of Fastnet.Despite the seemingly disappointing news for oil and gas, the Minister for Energy Water and the Environment, Abdelkader Aamara together with Amina Benkhadra from the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), expressed a positive and reassuring view regarding the future of the industry during the opening session of the Morocco Oil and Gas summit that took place in Marrakech from May 7-8.According to daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, the optimism of the two officials was translated into figures showing that more than 34 companies are now operating in Morocco in the framework of 131 offshore and onshore exploration permits, in addition to five reconnaissance licenses and nine exploitation concessions. During the summit, Benkhadra highlighted the progress made last year. In 2013, there was an acquisition of 5451 square kilometers of 3D seismic data, 654 square kilometers of 2D seismic data, the drilling of three wells, and MAD 2.4 billion ($294 million) in investments from ONHYM oil companies. This year, 27 wells have been drilled and the net worth of investments is estimated at around MAD 5 billion.The ONHYM boss seemed cautiously optimistic, according to Akhbar Al Yaoum. “Nobody said it was easy to search for oil and gas deposits. It took Chevron four years of dry wells in Saudi Arabia before the explorations in Dammam,” Benkhadra said. Dammam is the most oil-rich region in the world.Edited by Liz Yaslik© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed