Hydrocarbons Code...... better attractiveness
The promulgation of the Hydrocarbons Code in 2000 marked a turning point in the oil and gas exploration in Morocco.
This code contains very attractive incentives to the Act of petroleum exploration: Exemptions from customs duties, VAT, if the IS operating (10 consecutive years from the regular production start date any exploitation concession).
The Code provides that the State has a shareholding not exceeding 25% of the exploration permit and the exploitation concession widely criticized this measure is likely to make Morocco more attractive to investment in a highly capital intensive and risky dominates. Compared to the old code that rate was 51% but at that time, there were fewer than a dozen exploration companies.
In addition to the obligation to surrender to the Authority the information, data and studies, the code states that the holder of a reconnaissance license, an exploration permit or an exploitation concession must contribute vocational training of managers and technicians of the national oil industry.
The code also specifies that the holder of an exploitation concession must, before considering exporting its share of production, contribute to the satisfaction of the internal market.
The above incentives, favorable geology and the principle of co-ownership in all phases of research permit to allow investors to share risks in a capital intensive and highly risky operation, make of Morocco a destination increasingly attractive.
Indicators on the latest results of oil exploration
The activity of search of hydrocarbons has been marked in recent years by a renewed interest, particularly on offshore. This has translated by the large influx of international oil companies whose number exceeds thirty operating on a total area of nearly 400,000 square kilometers composed of 11 concessions onshore, 131 exploration licenses including 90 in offshore and 4 recognition permits including 2 in offshore.
So, the research of oil currently experiencing a new dynamic through the use of new exploration techniques including 3D seismic acquisitions, horizontal drilling and multi-directional, and basins assessment studies such as atlantic tangier - Tarfaya offshore area and Gharb, Essaouira and Haha onshore areas.
The modest discoveries of gas by:
Circle Oil companies and Gulfsands in the Gharb onshore area;
The Spanish company Repsol in the northwest Atlantic offshore zone;
MEP society in the "Tendrara" onshore area, the Eastern area of "Talsint";
In October, the companies GENERAL SAN LEON SERICA and announce that the SM1 wells located 59 km off the city of Ifni encountered oil shows that are being studied and analysis to describe the nature of the encountered oil and enjoy the petrophysical properties of rocks traversed in order to decide on the real potential of the area of interest.
It is important to note that Moroccan oil exploration in currently known unprecedented momentum as evidenced by the investments made in 2012 (1 billion dirhams) and in 2013 (2.7 billion dirhams) and programmed in 2014 (5 billion dirhams of which made 2.5 billion at end June);
Given this fact and the fact that our country has large sedimentary basins where the geology is similar to those where oil has been discovered and exploited in other countries, the results so far known and the available data show the existence of a favorable potential in hydrocarbon accumulation in our basement.
Despite the efforts, the Moroccan sedimentary basins remain largely under explored with an average of 0.05 wells per 100 km2 against 10 wells per 100 km2 internationally.
Concerning oil shale, Morocco has evaluated its potential in the 80’s and 90’s. It has significant reserves estimated at 50 billion barrels, which places us in 6th world rank
Last August, tests on a small laboratory plant a few kilograms per hour (Bench scale) were performed on samples in the center of research and development of Enefit / Outotec Frankfurt SAN LEON ENERGY by society. These tests were performed on samples of oil shale Timahdit, have yielded encouraging results and need to be complemented by other a series of tests on the same installation to optimize results.
It should be noted that even if technological results at the pilot installations would be positive, the transition to production should be preceded by a long and very important phase, which is the phase of studies of technical, economic and environmental feasibility . Whatever the degree of technological advancement of the process implemented, the move to the industrial stage will only take place beyond 5 years and still remains limited capacity of the order of ten thousand barrels / day.
It is recalled also that the oil shale industry faces three major challenges to facilitate the development and move to the industrial stage:
Technological Challenge: pyrolysis processes of oil shale require a lot of research and development before reaching industrial phases.
Environmental Challenge: industrial plant size requires significant investments dedicated to specifically to reduce the impact of these projects on the environment.
Economic Challenge: The volatility of crude oil prices impact the conditions for advancement.