Total returned to Western Sahara – with giant oil contract
total_block_610.jpg

It caused a stir in the Security Council when French oil giant Total signed an oil agreement in occupied Western Sahara in 2001. Three years later they pulled out. But now they are back.
Published: 29.11 - 2012 22:17Printer version    
LATEST: Total licence to be renewed this week?
From what WSRW understands, Total’s new licence in Western Sahara was signed exactly one year ago. This opens for a renewal already this week. WSRW urges Total’s investors to engage immediately.
Read more
In July 2011, WSRW published an article showing how Morocco’s state oil company ONHYM had carved out 3 new and large oil blocks in the southern parts offshore Western Sahara.

No company had at that time signed up for the blocks, according to the ONHYM map.

Now, however, it is clear that the French company Total signed up for the whole lot, through a monster size oil reconnaissance contract. The new map published on ONHYM’s webpages shows that the 3 blocks from last year have been united in one massive block, covering an astonishing 100,926,70 sq.km. The name of the new block is Anzarane Offshore, and is represented by the pink  area at the image above.

No publication or production date appear on the map itself [or download here], but the properties of the PDF file shows it is dated as early as 8 March 2012. An overview published on ONHYM's webpages 27 February 2012 shows the agreement was already signed, while another source claims the signing was done already in 2011. The name of the block – and Total’s participation in it – also appears in a file [or download here] published by Longreach Oil and Gas on 19 March 2012. The Longreach report mentions that a Total offshore block was signed "recently".  It is only now, however, that is has been clear where the Anzarane block is actually located. WSRW does not know when in 2012 the new map was uploaded to ONHYM's webpages. One source places Total's share in Anzarane at 75%.

Total pulled out of its initial reconnaissance agreement in 2004, citing lack of potential for the area. There has, however, from time to time circulated rumours that they wanted to return. Now they are back to the same area that they initially had, albeit the area is now even bigger than in 2001-2004.

“Total’s return to occupied Western Sahara is sad news for the Saharawi people. By doing this, Total directly undermines the UN’s peace efforts and international law. We appeal to the company to immediately reconsider its involvement”, stated Erik Hagen, chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch.  

Mr. Hagen said that WSRW will as soon as possible direct a request to Total asking whether the information on the Moroccan government's oil company's webpages is correct. No information about any Anzarane block is found on Total's own webpages.

When Total – then TotalFinaElf – signed a licence for the same acreage in 2001, the Security Council asked its Legal Office to produce an opinion of the legality of the company's agreement with Morocco. The legal office concluded it would be in violation of international law if the exploration and exploitation continued in the disregard of the wishes and interests of the people of the territory.

That's what's now happened.

    
News:

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
01.09 - 2017 / 01.09 - 2017Saharawi organisations slam EU over trade talks with Morocco
19.07 - 2017 / 18.07 - 2017Civilian court follows military court against Saharawi activists
13.07 - 2017 / 13.07 - 2017Western Sahara has won its conflict cargo case in South Africa
10.07 - 2017 / 10.07 - 2017Siemens inconsistently supporting occupations
05.07 - 2017 / 05.07 - 2017Sign up! Stop EU trade talks with Morocco regarding Western Sahara!




EN ES FR DE AR

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!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

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

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

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

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

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

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

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.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org 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