Rabat – Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) issued a statement on Wednesday announcing the withdrawal of Kosmos Energy and Capricorn Exploration and Development from Cap Boujdour, a headland where the companies were carrying out offshore projects on the northern coast of Western Sahara in southern Morocco.
According to the statement, the two companies are said to have withdrawn from the Boujdour Maritime Licence, an agreement binding all companies operating in the area.
ONHYM added that Kosmos Energy has been focusing on new projects, especially in West Africa, where oil was recently discovered.
“Kosmos Energy has decided to continue its process of withdrawing from certain regions in the initial phase of the oil exploration process,” said the statement.
ONHYM added that such decisions are common in the oil industry. “Investors regularly seek to limit and improve risk sharing and allocate capital in connection with oil exploration.”
The statement added that a number of operations of this kind have taken place in recent years in various permits granted worldwide.
“Despite its strategic decision and its interest in the Boujdour Maritime zone, Kosmos Energy will supervise the seismic acquisition work and the processing and interpretation of 3D seismic until the submission of the final report to ONHYM,” added the same statement.
According to ONHYM, the Boujdour Maritime licenses granted to the companies were the subject of extensive 2D and 3D seismic work and the drilling of an exploration well.
“However, despite the consistency and quality of these programs and given the size of the area, additional work is needed to further refine the potential assessment.”
The statement added that both ONHYM and Kosmos Energy are convinced that there is real potential in the Boujdour Maritime area and that the chances of making hydrocarbon discoveries remain possible.
Kosmos Energy, according to ONHYM, is leaving the door open to the possibility of potential discussions with Morocco’s mining office “for a possible return to oil exploration in Morocco.”