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Oil and gas companies confirm the existence of significant natural gas in Morocco's subsoil

Studies have shown that the Alawi country has several sedimentary basins on land and at sea that allow the accumulation of gas
Moroccan gas

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Morocco is gaining prominence in the world of hydrocarbons. Several international companies, which specialise in the search for both oil and gas, have confirmed that natural gas has been found in abundance in the country's subsoil. After decades of searching for these materials, there are already several marks confirming the richness of this resource in the Kingdom. 

Abdellah Mouttaqi, secretary general of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), has revealed several studies that evaluated the geology and geophysics of the country for several decades. "Morocco has several onshore and offshore sedimentary basins whose geology has allowed the genesis of different petroleum systems that could potentially be favourable to the accumulation of gas deposits," the secretary certifies.

These studies have been carried out under the supervision of the national government, which has offered various advantages to oil and gas companies willing to invest in the search for hydrocarbons in the Kingdom. For their part, they have been allowed a 10-year exemption from corporate income tax, as well as tax advantages such as not paying VAT, trade tax and other duties. In addition, they have been sold and leased at affordable prices a number of plots of land that have been granted exclusively for the exploration of these assets. 

Gasoducto

Mouttaqi, in an interview with the Challenge newspaper, spoke of the different areas where development and production is being concentrated. One of these is the Gharb Basin, a region in the northwest of the nation. There, several deposits of usable natural gas have been discovered, although they are smaller in size than normal. Despite this, the OHNYM secretary said that "they are economically interesting and profitable thanks to the existence, in situ, of an important network of gas pipelines, as well as the proximity of several industries in the province of Kenitra". He said that these are already in production and have been connected to the network of pipelines in the kingdom for distribution.

Apart from this one in the Kenitra region, there are also other points where several companies are already working on the evaluation and exploration of this natural resource. Expeditions are being carried out in the areas of Essaouira, Guersif, Zag, Boudnib and Missour, in which, if the result is effective for its commercialisation, it would place Morocco in a good economic position. It is worth noting that between 2016 and 2018, the British brand Sound Energy discovered gas wells and basins in the Tendrara region, so they have already built wells that are not yet in production. The same company has recently signed with ONEE, the National Electricity Office, and has made a gas supply contract that will be able to supply both Europe and North West Africa through the Maghreb-Europe channel, as a 120 kilometre ramp connecting to it is to be built. 

PHOTO/REUTERS – Gasoducto Marruecos
PHOTO/REUTERS - Gas pipeline

These discoveries are good news for Morocco since Algeria decided on 31 October last year not to renew the contract that used the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, which transported gas directly to the Old Continent via the Maghreb country. And although several European countries continue to receive the product, relations between Algeria and Morocco are as tense as ever, so the discovery of natural gas in the territory could prove to be an advantageous factor and the realisation of very ambitious projects that would elevate the country to a higher position in the export of natural resources. 

In addition, Morocco has long been looking for a company to build its own pipeline to feed the country. The latest news about this could point directly to China, which may be the key nation for this construction, as one of the Asian country's companies called China Communications Construction Co (CCCC) may be selected to build the first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FRSU) in the Kingdom.