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The energy-focused group belonging to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch remains a major player in petroleum products trading and distribution and potentially upstream gas developments during a period when rising prices are adding to popular pressures on the Moroccan government to act and the PM has come under unexpectedly severe personal attack, writes a Special Correspondent, with Jon Marks.

Morocco
Issue 455 - 28 February 2022

Morocco: CID gets LNG terminal study

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The contract to carry out a technical study for the liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal at Mohammedia port has been awarded by the National Ports Agency (ANP) to a consortium of the local Conseil Ingénierie Développement (CID) and French companies Artelia and Principia.

Morocco
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Thanks to a combination of high solar radiation and superlative wind resources, the massive, largely desert zone along north-west Africa’s Atlantic coast has become a focus for huge projects in what is starting to look like a new scramble for Africa. Recent developments include Chariot and Total Eren positioning themselves to take advantage of the emerging business opportunity in the production of green hydrogen in Morocco and Mauritania. This follows close on the footsteps of CWP Global and Xlinks. Others such as Harmattan Energy are looking at the disputed Western Sahara (under a UN mandate). As the number of prospective schemes grows, so too will the pressure to secure land rights and authorisations – a familiar issue for businesses with long track records in securing upstream and mineral rights across the continent.

Mauritania | Morocco | Western Sahara (under UN mandate)
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A tender issued by national ports agency ANP to update its Mohammedia facility to accommodate Morocco’s first liquified natural gas terminal and FSRU generated considerable excitement in an industry expecting the kingdom to import LNG to help cover its power industry needs after Algeria stopped sending gas through the Maghreb-Europe Gas pipeline. ANP’s tender may fit into Morocco’s LNG plans, but does not yet mean the energy ministry’s out-to-tender gas import plan is a done deal, with key stakeholders still appraising the direction Morocco will eventually take, write Our Casablanca Correspondent and Jon Marks

Morocco
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London AIM-listed Chariot announced on 10 January it had found “significant” volumes of natural gas at an exploration well on the Anchois prospect in the offshore Lixus licence area. Analysts believe the find could alter the kingdom’s calculations for natural gas supply – and especially its import prospects

Morocco
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The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has signed an agreement with Morocco’s economy and finance minister Nadia Fettah and state-owned Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) general director Amina Benkhadra to provide $15.45m to help finance a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.

Nigeria | Morocco
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QatarEnergy (the rebranded Qatar Petroleum) has entered Egypt’s upstream for the first time, taking 17% stakes in Red Sea blocks 3 and 4 operated by Royal Dutch Shell, subject to government approval.

Morocco
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London Stock Exchange-listed Predator Oil and Gas said the fast-track development of compressed natural gas (CNG) from the MOU-1 well in the Guercif licence was possible, subject to partner approval and final results from well testing. A 15 December operational update said a pilot development of 2-5 mcf/d of CNG was economic.

Morocco
Issue 452 - 16 December 2021

Morocco: Chariot resumes Anchois drilling

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Further drilling is due to begin on the Anchois gas deposit in the Lixus licence area of offshore Morocco. London AIM-listed Chariot announced on 15 December that the Stena Don drilling rig had arrived on site and drilling was to begin “immediately”.

Morocco
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Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch’s government has underlined its determination to push through long-delayed, liberal legislation by approving a new law (projet de loi 82.21) on self-generation, which local industry players have long sought.

Morocco
Issue 451 - 03 December 2021

Morocco’s alternative gas play

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There were positive headlines in Morocco on 30 November, as the kingdom’s search for new sources of natural gas following Algeria’s recent decision to halt deliveries via the Maghreb-Europe Gas (GME) pipeline seemed to have been partially met with a ten-year deal with the developers of the upstream Tendrara project – onshore in north-eastern Morocco – will would cover around 40% of the shortfall.

Morocco
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As its new government shakes up a number of state agencies, Morocco is expected to set up a new division within national natural resources company Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) to manage domestic and cross-border natural gas infrastructure.

Morocco
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In a widely expected development, given their plunging bilateral relations, Algeria has withdrawn Sonatrach’s exports via the GME pipeline, which delivers natural gas to Morocco and Spain – posing a range of geopolitical and energy supply questions, write Dominic Dudley and Jon Marks.

Algeria | Morocco
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Plans for the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project have edged forward, with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) announcing a call for expressions of interest for two consultancy contracts on the grandiose scheme.

Nigeria | Morocco
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Plans for a radical restructuring of Morocco’s power and water sector is expected to be near the top of the agenda for incoming energy transition and sustainable development minister Leila Benali and new public works and water minister Nizar Baraka. The plans cover both state utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) and the regional utilities (régies) and include the creation of 12 new regional companies to tackle chronic debt problems in the sector and allow public services to explore new project financing options.

Morocco