Morocco

Nigeria, Morocco wealth funds sign pipeline deal to bring natural gas to Europe

6 Dec 2016   Morocco, Nigeria

A new pipeline project to bring Nigerian gas through Africa to Europe has been launched by the sovereign wealth funds of Nigeria and Morocco, the latest attempt to link Nigeria’s vast gas resources with the lucrative European gas market. The Trans-African Pipeline will be developed jointly by the Moroccan sovereign wealth fund Ithmar Capital and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the partners said Monday. Nigeria has huge gas reserves totaling some 5.1 Tcm, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, but few options for monetizing the gas other than its LNG export facility. A previous pipeline project — the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline — was agreed on between Nigeria’s NNPC and Algeria’s Sonatrach in 2002, and an intergovernmental accord signed in 2009. But there has been little progress on the project since, given the huge distances involved and the high cost of developing such a vast pipeline […]

Carlyle Hedge Fund’s $400 Million African-Refinery Investment Disappears

11 Nov 2016   Morocco

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, U.S…. A Carlyle Group LP hedge fund has lost the $400 million it invested last year in a Moroccan oil-refinery deal, according to a securities filing and people familiar with the matter. The hedge fund, known as Vermillion, was to receive a share of revenue at the refinery, which ran into financial trouble and was seized by Moroccan authorities later in 2015, the people said. The refinery, known as Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie du Raffinage, or Samir, was put into liquidation this year. In a note in the Washington, D.C., private-equity firm’s quarterly filing last week, Carlyle said it believes $400 million in petroleum commodities were “misappropriated by third parties outside the U.S.” It didn’t identify the soured deal or name the third parties. The note, which hasn’t previously been reported on, refers to […]

Vast Moroccan solar power plant is hard act for Africa to follow

7 Nov 2016   Morocco, Solar

On the edge of the Sahara desert, Morocco is building one of the world’s biggest solar power plants in a project largely funded by the European Union. It is a hard success for other African nations to match as they seek to implement a new global deal to combat climate change. The huge 160-megawatt first phase of the Noor plant near the town of Ouarzazate contrasts with efforts by some other nations focused on tiny roof-top solar panels to bring power to remote rural homes. At Noor, curved mirrors totaling 1.5 million square meters (16 million square feet) – the size of about 200 soccer pitches – capture the sun’s heat in the reddish desert. Morocco is showcasing Noor before talks among almost 200 nations in Marrakesh about implementing […]

Moroccan shale giving up gas

14 Oct 2015   Morocco

Irish energy company Circle Oil, which focuses on North African basins, said it had remarkable success with the early results from shale basins in Morocco. Circle Oil said preliminary drilling results from its Sebou concessions in Morocco yielded about 8 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Chief Executive Mitch Flegg said in a statement the results came in better than expected . “The flow rates achieved during the well test are at the upper end of our range of expectations and the well will now be tied in to our existing infrastructure and put into production as soon as possible,” he said. “This gas will be sold at fixed rates which are not subject to oil price fluctuations.” Morocco is […]

Gas flowing from Moroccan shale

27 Jun 2015   Morocco

Irish explorer Circle Oil, which focuses on North African reserves, said gas was flowing from its first shale well drilled into a basin in Morocco. The company said it reached a stabilized flow rate of 1.9 million cubic feet per day in its LAM-1 well in the Lalla Mimouna permit area onshore Morocco. “We are delighted that our first well on the Lalla Mimouna block has such positive results, flowing gas at significant rates,” Circle Chief Executive Officer Mitch Flegg said in a statement. “The productivity of this first well is very encouraging for the expansion of Circle’s portfolio of Morocco gas fields.” Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves. […]

Gas discovery confirmed in Moroccan shale

24 Feb 2015   Morocco

Gas discovery confirmed in onshore shale basin in Morocco, a third for Gulfsands Petroleum. The company said results from an exploration well dubbed DOB-1 in the Rharb permit area of northern Morocco indicated a discovery after a test-flow rate of 10 million cubic feet of gas per day was achieved. DOB-1 is the third such success for the company in the permit area, Chief Executive Officer Mahdi Sajjad said in a statement. Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves. Onshore, the country holds an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale oil and natural gas reserves. Gulfsands, which has headquarters in London, said last year it planned to spend $3.5 million to develop its acreage in northern Morocco. “We are continuing with our efforts to commence production from these […]

Moroccan shale continues to impress

7 Jan 2015   Morocco

Gulfsands Petroleum, a company exploring the emerging shale potential in Morocco, said Tuesday exploration results there were better than expected. The company said its drilling operations in a permit area in northern Morocco were completed two days ahead of schedule and yielded “significantly elevated gas readings.” Mahdi Sajjad, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement the results so far are the best the company has achieved to date in Morocco. “We look forward to completing the well and observing the production performance during well clean-up operations,” he said. Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves. During the first quarter of 2014, the company, which has headquarters in London, said it planned […]

Morocco natural gas reserves emerging

23 Dec 2014   Morocco

Sands of Morocco yielding good results for energy companies working in frontier territory. (UPI Photo/Mohammad Kheirkhah) . LONDON, Dec. 22 (UPI) — Morocco could be emerging as a major regional player in terms of potential natural gas production, companies working on fledgling campaigns there said Monday. Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves. Circle Oil, a British energy company focused on Middle East and North Africa, announced what it considers to be a significant natural gas discovery in Morocco . The company said it achieved production from its Sebou permit area in the country at a sustained test rate of 8 million cubic feet per day. “We believe that this well will add significant volumes to our reserves for potential gas production and at rates not subject to oil price fluctuation,” Circle Oil Chief […]

Morocco emerging as strong oil frontier

26 Nov 2014   Morocco

Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum said Wednesday it was stepping further into frontier territory with an exploration deal offshore Morocco. Woodside said it will explore a block known as the Rabat Ultra Deep Offshore area, where waters range in depth from 1 mile to more than 2.5 miles deep. The block is located adjacent to a similar deepwater license area, in which Woodside already holds a 25 percent stake. Under the terms of a 1-year commitment, Woodside said it would conduct a seismic survey of the region to get a better understanding of the reserve potential offshore Morocco. Morocco is one of the West African countries that have drawn interest from international energy companies eager to tap into unexploited reserves. Scottish energy company […]