Petronas Signs Deal with Onarep for Moroccan Exploration

Petronas has signed two contracts to carry out field work to determine hydrocarbon reserves in Morocco. Under the terms of the contracts, the company plans to carry out geological and geophysical studies.

In a statement, Petronas said it signed the contracts Wednesday with the Office National de Recherces et d'Explorations Petrolieres, or Onarep, the national oil company of Morocco . The contracts are for an onshore area in the Missour Basin and the offshore Rabat Sale Haute Mer area. Petronas will carry out the work through its unit Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn. A Petronas official said exploration licenses will be awarded for the areas if promising hydrocarbon reserves are found. The geological and geophysical studies normally take a year to complete. Petronas said the contracts mark another effort by the company to expand its presence in Morocco.

Last year, Petronas secured a 42.5% working interest in the Tiznit Block, which is in water depths ranging from 100 to 1,000 meters offshore Morocco. The Tiznit Block is operated and 42.5%-owned by Energy Africa, a unit of South Africa's Engen Ltd. Petronas has an 80% stake in Engen. Energy Africa also has a 26.67% stake in Cap Draa Haute Mer Permit, another exploration block located offshore Morocco.


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