Irish oil company wants to speed up oil hunt

The Irish oil company Island Oil and Gas - and their partners in San Leon - today announced their intention to upgrade their licence in occupied Western Sahara from a frontier licence to an exploration licence.
Published: 25.02 - 2009 12:37Printer version    
A similar statement from Island's partner San Leon Energy, is to be found at the bottom.

See their press release here

Press Release
Island Oil and Gas
25 February 2009

Moroccan operational update
-Aeromag survey defined promising structures
-Imminent negotiations with ONHYM to upgrade Frontier licence into Exploration Licence
-Highly positive regional moves: discoveries and international major farm ins Island Oil & Gas, the Irish exploration and production company with an international portfolio is very pleased to note today’s statement by San Leon, operator of the Joint Venture set up to explore the Zag basin, onshore Morocco.

Aeromagnetic surveys have defined a number of promising structures. The results of the survey have greatly encouraged the joint venture (Island 20%) and negotiations are to commence on upgrading the Reconnaissance Licence to a full Exploration Licence.

In addition, Island notes the highly positive regional news of both new discoveries on the Algerian side of the basin and the entrance of international major RWE to the licence adjacent to Island’s.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Island Oil & Gas commented:

“All of these moves are highly positive in both a regional and specific context. The entrance of such a major company as RWE to the adjacent licence validates our first mover activity.

The results from the aeromag, whilst very early, are very exciting. With excellent terms currently being offered in Morocco, we look forward to the future with confidence”

25 February 2009


Island Oil & Gas plc
Paul Griffiths
Carl Kindinger
Tel: +353 1 6313755

Davy (NOMAD and broker)      
Anthony Farrell
Tel: +353 1 679 6363  

College Hill (Financial PR)  
Paddy Blewer  
Nick Elwes
Tel: +44 (0)20 7457 2020  

Moroccan Operational Update

San Leon Energy Plc ("San Leon" or "the Group")
Initial work on Zag License completed

Aeromagnetic survey has illustrated promising structures
60km anticline worthy of significant further interest
San Leon to commence negotiations with Moroccan Government to upgrade to a full Exploration Licence
Tindouf-Reggane Basin highly prospective
New discoveries made on the Algerian side of the Tindouf-Reggane Basin confirm prospectivity
Repsol discovery at North Reggane flowed 22.2 MM cu ft/day
New RWE farm-in to Moroccan licence adjacent to San Leon's

San Leon Energy Plc (SLE.L), an international oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that it has completed its work obligations on their Zag Reconnaissance License in the western part of the highly prospective Tindouf-Reggane Basin (known as "Zag" on the Moroccan side) in Morocco.  As a result of the positive results received from this work the Company has decided to continue exploring Zag and will commence negotiations with ONHYM in the very near future to upgrade the Reconnaissance Licence to a full Exploration Licence.

San Leon Energy's high resolution aeromagnetic survey, which was integrated with surface and subsurface data, indicated some very large structures; including a 60 km long anticline with the potential for hydrocarbon reserves.  

Several significant discoveries have now been made on the Algerian side of this basin complex by Repsol and partners RWE DEA, Sonatrach, and Edison.  The most recent discovery by the Repsol Group was in their North Reggane concession with a well that flow tested 629,000 cu m/day (22.2 MM cu ft/day).  Repsol's holdings have been reported to be 145 million boe on the eastern side of the Tindouf-Reggane Basin.

The Moroccan side of the Tindouf/Reggane Basin has remained virtually unexplored but since the petroleum system has been shown to be geologically similar across the vast basin, San Leon hope to make similar discoveries in Morocco as Repsol has in Algeria. The Board is also of the opinion that Morocco has arguably one of the best petroleum licensing regimes in the world.

The Board are also encouraged by the recent RWE DEA farm-in to the licence adjacent and to the north of San Leon's Zag License.  This is RWE's first move into Morocco and is seen by the Board as highly encouraging.

San Leon operates the Zag Reconnaissance License with a 50% stake and partner Island Oil and Gas Plc has a 20% interest.  The other partner is Longreach Oil and Gas with 30%.

Phil Thompson, CEO of San Leon Energy commented

"Our aeromagnetic survey has fully justified the management team's belief that the Zag (Tindouf) Basin, and our licence in particular has potential.

When combined with the discoveries on the Algerian side of the basin and the highly attractive terms currently in place throughout Morocco, we could only be optimistic.

The next task is to identify opportunities to further narrow drilling targets; unlocking what we believe to be serious value in this licence."

25 February 2009

For further information, please contact:

San Leon Energy Plc
Oisin Fanning, Chairman
Phil Thompson, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: + 353 1291 6292

Daniel Stewart & Co. Plc
Graham Webster/Stewart Dick
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550

College Hill Associates
Paddy Blewer/Nick Elwes
Tel: +44 (0) 207 457 2020

Qualified person
Philip Thompson has over twenty five years experience in the oil & gas industry. He has an M.Sc. in Geophysics from Southern Methodist University and a B.Sc. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University.


15.01 - 2018 / 15.01 - 2018Denmark accepts continued EU fisheries in occupied waters
10.01 - 2018 / 10.01 - 2018EU Court advocate: Fish agreement invalid for including Western Sahara
08.01 - 2018 / 08.01 - 2018EU Commission eying new fish deal including Western Sahara
07.01 - 2018 / 07.01 - 2018Nutrien: The new giant on conflict minerals
20.12 - 2017 / 12.12 - 2017EU Commission visited occupied Western Sahara to authorize exporters
07.12 - 2017 / 07.12 - 2017Siemens: the Moroccan king's wind turbine supplier in Western Sahara
05.12 - 2017 / 13.11 - 2017EU fish support to Morocco builds Western Sahara fish industry
21.11 - 2017 / 11.11 - 2017Paradise Papers: New light on Glencore structure
10.11 - 2017 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
31.10 - 2017 / 12.10 - 2017Moroccan wind energy in occupied Western Sahara passing 40%
31.10 - 2017 / 31.10 - 2017Interview with Jytte Guteland: 1 of 5 MEPs evicted from Western Sahara
30.10 - 2017 / 10.10 - 2017UK company building wind park in occupied Western Sahara
26.10 - 2017 / 26.10 - 2017Kosmos surveying oil potential near Dakhla again?
24.10 - 2017 / 24.10 - 2017EU Parliament approves Morocco aviation deal including Western Sahara
24.10 - 2017 / 24.10 - 2017EU-Morocco trade talks: replacing Saharawis with Moroccans
23.10 - 2017 / 20.10 - 2017Imminent vote on EU-Morocco aviation deal, covering Western Sahara
11.10 - 2017 / 10.10 - 2017Wärtsilä to build power plant in occupied Western Sahara
09.10 - 2017 / 09.10 - 2017Morocco announces 500% increase of agriculture zone in occupied Dakhla
27.09 - 2017 / 26.09 - 2017EU appears clueless on import levels from Western Sahara
27.09 - 2017 / 25.09 - 2017New report: Sweden must advise companies on Western Sahara


Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
The Western Sahara oil curse


Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know. News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy