Morocco ramps up oil and gas drilling

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Morocco’s Energy and Mines minister Abdelkader Amara says the country is set to drill 30 oil and gas wells this year as part of its growth development plan.

Due to its stability in contrast with other North African countries and the prospects of both offshore and onshore reserves, the country has granted several permits to oil companies to explore its oil and gas reserves in the past few years.

Speaking in an energy conference Abdelkader underscored that since the country’s independence in 1956, the country has only managed to drill 300 wells but in 2014 alone, they are working on digging 30 wells. He added that they have increased their drilling activities in order to make more discoveries and a draft law on the mining industry to lessen bureaucracy and draw more investments opportunities is being prepared.

BP, Cairn Energy and Chevron are some of the companies awarded contracts by the Moroccan office of Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM).
Announcing a deal with Kosmos Energy, BP is the latest oil company to set its sight in Morocco and will take a share in three offshore blocks with plans to begin drilling later on this year.

The mining industry according to the National Bureau for Hydrocarbons and Mines report of 2011 employs around 35,000 people and its financial records accounts for Dh53.6bn (US$6.5bn)