Several international companies specializing in oil and gas exploration confirm that the Moroccan subsoil is rich in natural gas. The discovery of Sound Energy, the most important ever in Morocco, bears witness to this.
Morocco attracts international companies specializing in gas exploration because of its potential in hydrocarbons in general (gas and oil). According to Abdellah Mouttaqi, Secretary General of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), the geological and geophysical assessment studies carried out over the past decades have made it possible to certify that “Morocco has several sedimentary basins in onshore and offshore, the geology of which has allowed the genesis of various petroleum systems that could potentially be favorable to the accumulation of gas deposits”.
In an interview, the official said that the Moroccan authorities have also created the conditions to attract investors to the sector. The Moroccan state offers several advantages to oil companies, in particular a 10-year exemption on corporation tax as well as several tax exemptions (VAT, professional tax, etc.) and attractive rates for the concession right and superficial rent, he specifies.
Abdellah Mouttaqi also exposed the development and production areas. This is the Gharb basin where productive gas fields have been discovered. Fields which, despite their small size, “are economically interesting and profitable thanks to the existence, on site, of a large gas pipeline network, as well as the proximity of several industries in the province of Kénitra”, he explains, adding that these gas fields are already put into production and directly connected to the existing pipeline network and separation stations.
Two of the exploration wells completed between 2016 and 2018 by Sound Energy in the Tendrara region also confirmed the presence of natural gas. This field will be put into production very soon, assures the SG of ONHYM who announced the recent signing with ONEE of a gas delivery contract via the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline (GME) after the construction of a 120 km ramp.
Gas evaluation and exploration work is continuing in the Essaouira, Guercif, Zag, Boudenib and Missour basins and could lead to results. At the end of November 2021, 13 companies were working with ONHYM to research hydrocarbons (oils and gas). They obtained “27 onshore licenses, 26 offshore licenses, 1 onshore reconnaissance license, 1 offshore reconnaissance license and 8 operating concessions. Among these exploration permits, 30 are dedicated exclusively to gas exploration, including 2 offshore,” said Abdellah Mouttaqi, indicating that 27 billion MAD 134 million of investments were made between 2000 and 2020.