CNOOC bags five contracts for oil exploration in Morocco

CNOOC bags five contracts for oil exploration in Morocco

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has been awarded five oil and gas research and development concession contracts by the government of Morocco.

The contracts were awarded as part of the country’s sixth licensing round initiated by the Mineral Resources and Energy ministry. Filimão Suaze, the government spokesman, emphasized that this decision aligns with Mozambique’s mineral resources policy and aims to attract more investments into the oil sector.

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Exploration programme

The Council of Ministers approved the concession contracts that’s will allow CNOOC explore two shallow-water blocks in the Save offshore region (S6-A and S6-B) and three offshore blocks in the Angoche offshore region (A6-D, A6-E, and A6-G).

CNOOC will have ownership stakes ranging from 70% to 80% in these blocks, with the Mozambique state-owned Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos retaining the remaining ownership share. The licensing round was launched in November 2021, offering a total of 16 blocks. However, bids were only received for six blocks, with CNOOC securing both blocks in the Save area in November 2022.

The Angoche and Save regions where CNOOC will conduct exploration activities are outside the Cabo Delgado region, which has experienced significant delays in oil and gas activities due to security concerns related to Islamist terrorism.

CNOOC’s research activities will encompass acquiring over 26,000km² of seismic data, drilling at least four deep-water research wells, and conducting geoscientific studies in both the Save and Angoche offshore regions. Currently, Mozambique relies on crude oil imports to meet its domestic demand as it does not produce its own crude oil.