Kosmos Energy prolongs Sahara oil exploration
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The US firm Kosmos Energy has signed yet another prolongation of their illegal oil deal in Western Sahara. According to the UN, oil exploration in Western Sahara is in violation of international law.
Published: 09.02 - 2011 15:56Printer version    
Photo above: Sahrawi refugees on the Canary Islands, demonstrate against Kosmos'  operations. The vessel in the background is a Danish supply vessel used during the seismic shooting spring of 2009.

According to the Moroccan official gazette, Bulletin Officiel, Texas oil firm Kosmos Energy has agreed to prolonging their exploration plans in Western Sahara. The agreement was inked on 27 January 2011, without taking the interests or wishes of the people of Western Sahara into account.

The UN has stated that these oil plans are in violation of international law.

Download the Bulletin Officiel here (or in shortened version).

Since Kosmos initially signed the agreement in 2006, a number of prolongations have since been agreed. See some of them here.

The recent prolongation was also mentioned by the Moroccan newspaper Le Soir on 8 February. See story below.

Hydrocarbures : Feu vert pour Kosmos

Hatim Khalid
8 février 2011 à 10 h 18 min

Hydrocarbures Kosmos Energy Offshore Morocco a obtenu le feu vert du gouvernement marocain pour l’exploration de Boujdour Offshore.

Kosmos Energy Offshore Morocco vient d’obtenir, jeudi dernier, les permis d’exploration pour la zone Boujdour Offshore. La zone, qui s’étend sur une superficie de 43.998 km2 subdivisée en 23 blocs d’exploration, sera exploitée par la société Kosmos pour une durée de trois ans.

Signé en 2006, l’accord pour l’exploration de cette zone était annoncé pour juillet 2009. Le montage est effectué selon les mêmes termes qui réglementent l’exploration des terres marocaines, c’est-à-dire qu’ils sont soumis à la participation de l’ONHYM (Office national des hydrocarbures et des mines) à hauteur de 25%.

Potentiel prouvé
Pour rappeler ces termes, au cours de la phase d’exploration, Kosmos Energy Offshore est tenu de supporter l’intégralité des coûts d’exploration. En cas de découverte, elle gardera 75% des bénéfices tandis que l’ONHYM héritera des 25% restants. Le permis d’exploration Boujdour Offshore est le dernier en liste pour la société Kosmos.

Le site marocain fait partie des actifs devant assurer la croissance à long terme de Kosmos, précise-t-elle. Le permis d’exploration (voir illustration) présente les mêmes caractéristiques géodésiques que les actifs de Kosmos au Niger et au Ghana, lesquels ont déjà fait leurs preuves, assure le management du groupe. La société, qui explore actuellement la quasi-totalité de la côte ouest du continent africain, a fait état d’un potentiel prouvé pour le gisement de Boujdour Offshore.

Aussi bien pour le pétrole que pour le gaz naturel, la zone dispose de très larges cavités et trappes avec plusieurs réservoirs localisés dans les différentes couches rocheuses des côtes atlantiques marocaines 



    

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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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

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It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
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