Moroccan State Oil Company Holds First Offshore Licensing Round

The Moroccan State Oil Company, the Office National de Recherches et d'Exploitations Petrolieres (ONAREP), would like to invite oil companies to bid for petroleum exploration rights in Morocco's first bidding round, which opens October 30, 2000, in Rabat, Morocco. The round, which closes April 30, 2001, will cover the Rabat-Safi segment of the Atlantic Ocean.

"The decision to launch a bidding round at this time is based on the interpretation of 7,750 kilometers of seismic, which was shot earlier this year," said Amina Benkhadra, ONAREP's director-general. "The seismic data provides good indication of prospective deep-water and shallow-water plays. And, in addition, we have significantly reduced the tax burden -- IHS Energy now ranks the Moroccan fiscal regime amongst the most attractive in the world. Therefore, we look forward to a high level of industry participation in the bidding round."

The available area has been divided into the following blocks:

Block 1: 2,700 km2 in shallow water (less than 200 meters water depth)
Block 2: 3,850 km2 in shallow water
Block 3: 2,750 km2 in shallow water
Block 4: 5,000 km2 in deep water (more than 200 meters water depth)
Block 5: 3,900 km2 in deep water
Block 6: 4,890 km2 in deep water
Block 7: 4,000 km2 in deep water
Block 8: 4,000 km2 in deep water

Prior to the opening of the bidding round, ONAREP will host two technical review presentations for interested oil company representatives. These sessions will be held Monday, October 23, 2000, at the Waldorf Meridien Hotel in London, and Thursday, October 26, 2000, at the Doubletree Post Oak Hotel in Houston. To attend either of these technical sessions, please register by contacting Mrs. Wafae Benhammou, petroleum participation's manager at ONAREP, by e-mail:, or by fax at +217 7 28 16 26.

Soon, ONAREP's Web site ( will provide additional information about the round, including a summary of available data, a brief review of the area offered, and an outline of the terms offered. Prior to submittal, all bids must conform to ONAREP's bidding guidelines, which will be available for U.S. $200, when the round opens.


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