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Issue 366 - 04 May 2018

Morocco: Rabat Deep well fails

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Partner Chariot Oil & Gas has announced that the Eni-operated Rabat Deep 1 well failed to find hydrocarbons. Chariot said the well was drilled to a total depth of 3,180 metres to test the JP-1 prospect. Chariot was fully carried for the well as part of a farm-out to Eni, which was approved in January 2017. The well, drilled by the Saipem 12000 drillship, will now be plugged and abandoned.

Morocco
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Austrian technology group Andritz announced on 6 March that it had received an order worth more than €120m ($141m) to supply hydro and electromechanical equipment to the 350MW Abdelmoumen pumped storage project on the Issen River in Taroudant province. Andritz is part of a joint venture led by France’s Vinci Construction Grands Projets which will build the plant for Office Nationale de l’Électricité and de l’Eau Potable.

Morocco
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invites expressions of interest by 16 April from consultants to assist with modelling and mapping injection capacity for renewable energy into the transmission and distribution grids of Morocco. The assignment aims to ensure that planned new renewable energy generation will maintain the security and balance of the grid and not affect the technical and economic performance of the national power generation and transmission system.

Morocco
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Rabat has released little information about the impact of gas finds in eastern Morocco, in line with its cautious management of information on the hydrocarbons industry. But reserves in the Sound Energy-operated Tendrara gas field are now deemed sufficient for the government to stop taking gas through the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline (GME) when its contract with Algeria expires in 2020-21. This means Morocco will not need to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) until much later in the next decade, when new combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants are built, officials in Rabat have told African Energy.

Morocco
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Moroccan officials say an ambitious plan to build a pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco is making progress, despite the daunting challenges involved in providing a ‘gas highway’ serving countries along its near 5,000km route. The projects fits into King Mohammed VI’s pivot toward Africa, focusing Moroccan investment and political energy on building greater south-south cooperation

Morocco
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Morocco’s readmission to the African Union in January 2017 was widely welcomed, ending a boycott called by the late King Hassan II in 1984 after the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was admitted as a full member of the then Organisation of African Unity. Morocco sees its future security and prosperity in an energetic drive to build business, political and cultural relations across Africa and King Mohammed VI received a standing ovation when he addressed the 2017 African Union summit.

Morocco
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The Ministry of Energy has approved permits for two small hydropower plants being developed by France’s Voltalia in the Middle Atlas region. The permits for the unnamed 9.8MW and 7.2MW projects follow technical approvals issued by the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable for the connection of the plants to the national grid.

Morocco
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Office Nationale des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) has signed new petroleum agreements with Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell for the onshore Tanfit area, with Eni for the Tarfaya Offshore Shallow area, and with Sound Energy for Sidi Moktar. The agreement for the 9,990km2 Tanfit acreage announced on 6 February follows reconnaissance work in the area by Shell. Repsol, which has the Rharb Offshore Sud Block, and the onshore Aoufouss Block, will be the operator.

Morocco
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As King Mohammed VI maintains pressure on officials to deliver results in key sectors, Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) president Mustapha Bakkoury was called to the royal palace in Casablanca on 26 January to report on progress across the renewable energy programme. The king was said to be concerned to streamline the operations of state energy sector bodies and Masen’s international expansion strategy. A delay in the transfer of the stake in Masen held by Société d’Investissements Energétiques (SIE) to Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) was one issue.

Morocco
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French group Vinci Construction on 9 January announced the award by state utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau (ONEE) of the main contract to build the 350MW Abdelmoumen energy transfer pumping station in the Souss Massa-Draâ region. Vinci’s contract is valued at €284m ($347m), to deliver the project within 48 months. The plant, known by its French acronym Step (station de transfert d’energie par pompage), should increase the Abdelmoumen complex’s energy efficiency by 12% in 2020-21, when the plant is scheduled for completion, and by 15% by 2030, according to Souss Massa-Draâ regional director for environment Khadija Sami.

Morocco
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Under a strategy favouring renewable energy that is driven from the royal palace, Morocco is developing one of the continent’s most strategically planned and vibrant energy sectors. Supported by banks and financiers in commercial hub Casablanca, the kingdom has developed an extremely active project pipeline across a wide range of technologies; this draws on diverse procurement strategies that have attracted very significant levels of official and private finance.

Morocco
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Italy’s Eni is expected to spud the RD-1 well on the Rabat Deep Offshore exploration permit in March 2018, using the Saipem 12000 drillship. Partner Chariot Oil & Gas, which transferred the operatorship to Eni in January 2017, said the JP-1 prospect targeted by the well had audited gross mean prospective resources of 768m bbls.

Morocco
Issue 359 - 07 December 2017

Morocco: Masen expands beyond the kingdom

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The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) has signed co-operation agreements with ten countries and is actively working on projects in five, as Morocco works to expand its presence in Africa. This policy, led by King Mohammed VI, also includes the kingdom applying to join the Economic Community of West African States and state power and water utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau applying to join the West Africa Power Pool.

Morocco
Issue 358 - 23 November 2017

Morocco: SDX discovery

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SDX Energy has announced a gas discovery with the second well in a nine-well drilling programme on the Sebou, Gharb Centre and Lalla Mimouna permits. The KSR-15 well on the Sebou permit was drilled to a total depth of 1,774 metres and encountered 17.2 metres of gas reservoir section across four intervals. The average porosity of the primary target, the Hoot sand, was 29%, which is the highest recorded for the Hoot sand in the basin.

Morocco
Subscriber

Having weathered many storms as head of Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE), Ali Fassi-Fihri was sacked as head of the state utility on 24 October. He was dismissed along with four prominent ministers and another parastatal boss by King Mohammed VI in response to a report by the Cour des Comptes (public accounts court) on the failures of a multi-faceted project to revive the economy of the northern Al-Hoceima region.

Morocco