Canamens Inks Offshore Exploration Agreements in Morocco
Canamens has signed a suite of agreements -- including an Association Contract, a Petroleum Agreement and a Reconnaissance Contract, along with associated permits and a license -- to explore for oil in Morocco.
These agreements were signed in Rabat on December 15, 2008 between Canamens and Morocco's Office National Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM).
The first agreement is a Reconnaissance Contract in respect of the "Essaouira Shallow Offshore" area, located in shallow water (<500 meters). Canamens will reprocess and acquire new 2D seismic and following evaluation prospectivity, decide whether to convert the license to an exploration permit, or elect not to proceed.
The second and third agreements are an Association Contract and Petroleum Agreement which govern 4 Exploration Permits for a similar location but in deeper water (generally over 500 meters), the "Essaouira Deep Offshore" area. Under these agreements Canamens will reprocess and acquire new 2D seismic and, following evaluation, have the option to extend into a second period with an accompanying 3D seismic and drilling commitment, or drop without further obligation.
Under these agreements, which cover an area of over 11,000km2, Canamens will be the operator with a 75% equity stake in both the Reconnaissance Licence and the Exploration Permits, with the remaining equity held by ONHYM. Canamens will bear 100% of the costs up until the development stage.
The agreements represent Canamens' first investment in Morocco.
Following the signing of the agreements by Madame Amina Benkhadra, Morocco's Minister of Energy and Director General of ONHYM, and Canamens Vice President of Exploration,
John Pickard said, "We are delighted to be taking this first step into Morocco. North Africa is a strategic focus area for Canamens and we believe that Morocco offers exciting prospects for Canamens, and that the country's relatively unexploited offshore province offers significant hydrocarbon prospects. Canamens believes that it has skills and experience which are highly relevant to these prospects and is optimistic that it will be able to build on this first step to develop a material presence in the Moroccan oil industry."
Madame Amina Benkhadra said, "We are pleased to be undertaking this opportunity with Canamens, a company which has exploration experience across the world. Essaouria is an area known for its potential. We hope that with joint efforts - the expertise of Canamens and the knowledge of ONHYM's geologists, the area can be explored and good opportunities and discoveries will occur. We are pleased to welcome Canamens to Morocco, and hope we will have every success in our new exploration."