Israel and Morocco reached an agreement to search for oil and gas in the middle of the Sahara and Canary waters


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The Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Minerals (ONHYM) signed an agreement with a subsidiary of the Israeli company Ratio Petroleum Energy to grant it an exclusive license for oil and gas exploration on the coast of the Western Sahara city of Dakhla.

According to an Israeli professional website Energia News reported three days after the signing on September 24, the Israeli company obtained 100% of the exploration rights through its subsidiary Ratio Gibraltar. The purpose is to carry out geological, geophysical and geochemical research and research activities in the area.

EL ESPAÑOL has access to a 14-page Israel report, which details the terms of the agreement.Grant the right to arCarry out oil and gas exploration In an area of ​​109,000 square kilometers (equivalent to more than 270 Israeli maritime search permits) on the Atlantic coast.

The permit covers shallow and deep waters up to approximately 3,000 meters deep and is valid for eight years, and can be extended for another two years if hydrocarbons are found. Ratio Gibraltar will own 75% of the shares and ONHYM will own the remaining 25%.

In addition, the Moroccan country will receive 7% of the oil that is more than 200 meters underwater and the production of more than 500,000 tons; 3.5% of the natural gas, the production of more than 500,000 cubic meters.

Similarly, Ratio Petroleum agreed to pay ONHYM an annual subscription fee of US$70,000 to the local management and technical staff training program.

Condemned the Saharans

The document stipulates that Ratio Gibraltar has “100% exclusive rights to study and investigate the Dajla Atlántico block located in the southern part of Morocco and on the Atlantic coast. The block is bounded by the coastal city of Dakhla in the north. The south is bordered by Mauritania.”

However, it is a city in Western Sahara, Non-Self-Governing Territories before Decolonization, According to the United Nations (UN). This is reflected in the document: “It should be pointed out that part of the group is located in the territory of a minority (Saharan tribe), which requires recognition of Morocco’s independence. As of the date of publication of the report, some countries in the world, including the United States, recognize Morocco. Other countries do not recognize the sovereignty of the aforementioned territories.”

About “lBorder dispute situation that has not yet been officially resolved“Add some information published in the international media.

In fact, the Association for Resource Monitoring and Environmental Protection of Western Sahara (AREN) has condemned this “illegal” agreement that “violates international law.”

“This company (Ratio Gibraltar) fully understands the legal status of Western Sahara and is Deprive the Saharan people of the right to exercise sovereignty over their land“AREN condemned in a press release. Likewise, it asked Israeli society to cancel its “illegal” agreement.

Israel’s interest in the Western Sahara conflict has a political dimension. David Govlin, who was recently appointed as Israel’s ambassador to Rabat, confirmed in an interview with the EFE agency on October 24 that the Hebrew countries support “direct negotiations” between parties to the conflict to reach a “peaceful settlement.” .

Northern Canary Islands

The Ratio Petroleum Group owns 15% of Israel’s largest exploration oil field and has operations in Guyana and Suriname, as well as two other basins in the Philippines. Moroccan digital Le360 recalled that its oil rights area currently amounts to 22,330 square kilometers.

The Israeli company, which is knowledgeable in the field, emphasized, “Morocco has a long history of exploration Hydrocarbons along the coast of the ocean, but relative to the vast economic area of ​​Moroccan waters, this is still a preliminary activity.”

In this study, the Israelis pointed out that the area further south was interesting and insisted that “there are many sedimentary basins with the potential for active petroleum systems along the Atlantic Ocean. The Geological Province 1 is a vast saline-alkali basin located mainly in the northern part of the Canary Islands. Separate.

precisely, Morocco expands its exclusive economic zone by 200 miles The continental shelf and the continental shelf will be separated by 350 miles in March 2020. In practice, this means allocating the waters of Western Sahara and overlapping with the waters of Spain, especially the waters of the Canary Islands. An unresolved issue will be discussed in a bilateral meeting with Spain, which Spain claims is part of.

In any case, since re-establishing relations with Tel Aviv, Rabat has signed more agreements with companies in the country in other areas, such as phosphates. For its part, it also agreed to explore other gas wells with British companies.


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