Chariot To Harness Morocco's Underexplored Offshore Potential
BMI View: Chariot Oil & Gas ' recent acquisition of several offshore licen c es in Morocco is a positive sign for country. Additional interest in the country's underexplored potential is needed, as reserves dwindle and production struggles to rise above 5,50 0 b/d.
Chariot Oil & Gas , an Africa-focused independent exploration company, has acquired several of Morocco's offshore prospects in October 2012. In two separate announcements made on October 11 and 25, the company said it has purchased Maghreb Petroleum Exploration SA (MPE)'s operating interest in the Loukos and Casablanca/Safi offshore licen c es and the adjacent offshore Rabat Deep licen c e. The company will h old a 75% operating interest in each of these blocks, with the Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) holding the remaining 25%. Chariot also holds licences for eight blocks in Namibia and one in Mauritania.
|Asset||License||Operator||Interest %||Status Phase||License Area, Km 2||Water Depth|
|Source: Chariot Oil & Gas|
|Loukos||Loukos||Chariot Oil & Gas Investments, Morocco||75%||Exploration*||1,925||5-110m|
|Casablanca||Casablanca||Chariot Oil & Gas Investments, Morocco||75%||Exploration*||3,500||5-165m|
|Rabat Deep||Rabat Deep||Chariot Oil & Gas Investments, Morocco||75%||Exploration*||10,782||150-3,500m|
With its acquisition of these licences, Chariot has emphasised its belief in the high prospectivity of Morocco's underexplored offshore blocks. The company also underscored Morocco's competitive fiscal terms and supportive regulatory framework for upstream exploration. Morocco's taxation of oil production includes a 30% corporation tax, a 7-10% royalty on oil production and a 3.5-5% royalty on gas production, as well as a 10-year corporation tax holiday on new discoveries.
In Need Of Oil Production
Morocco is in significant need of additional upstream investment. Indeed, oil production has remained in a tight band of 5,200 to 5,500 barrels per day (b/d) between 2001 and 2011. Similarly, its proven oil reserves have fallen from 2mn (bbl) in the earlier half of the decade to a current level of 1mn bbl. Oil consumption, on the other hand, has risen significantly over the same time period, placing a growing import burden on the country.
|Dwindling Reserves, Insufficient Production|
|Morocco's Proven Oil Reserves, Production, And Consumption|