BGP confirms seismic work for Total in Western Sahara
Chinese company BGP affirms to WSRW undertaking seabed research on behalf of French oil firm Total.  This article has been updated: Seismic study to end 30 March 2013.
Published: 05.03 - 2013 17:41Printer version    
"We respectively advise that the BGP Prospector is carrying out a 3D seismic reconnaissance survey ultimately on behalf of Office National Des Hydrocarbures Et Des Mines (ONHYM) and the Company TOTAL, under permissions granted by ONHYM. The seismic data acquired pursuant to these activities will accordingly be owned by ONHYM", BGP wrote in a letter to WSRW, 5 March 2013.  

The statement came as a reponse to a letter from WSRW of 6 December 2012, imploring the company to explain its research vessel's presence off Dakhla, occupied Western Sahara. WSRW also asked the company then to immediately terminate its activities in waters of the territory.

Their answer was sent now at a time when it seems the operations could have terminated. Their research vessel 'BGP Prospector' has not been noticed in the area since 26 February 2013.  [WSRW update, 12.03.2013: This information about ending of BGP's operations in Western Sahara is incorrect. The seismic study is still ongoing, and is planned to terminate on 30 March 2013]

WSRW has been observing the BGP Prospector off Dakhla since the end of October 2012. Only a few days before, WSRW had discovered that Total had obtained a reconnaissance license for that precise area.

BGP is a subsidiary of the Chinese state oil company CNPC. The letter from BGP did not carry letter head, nor name of director signing on behalf of the organisation, but was sent to WSRW from the email account of the BGP, with copy to the mother company CNPC.

Total has not answered requests from WSRW regarding the operations offshore the occupied territory.



26.01 - 2020 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
22.01 - 2020 / 22.01 - 2020States urge Spain to respect Saharawi rights in Human Rights Council
13.01 - 2020 / 13.01 - 2020Continental negotiating contract renewal with OCP
25.12 - 2019 / 10.11 - 2019Fugro is back in occupied Western Sahara
10.12 - 2019 / 09.12 - 2019Flotilla targets phosphate plunder ship
10.12 - 2019 / 10.12 - 2019WSRW calls on UN Members to question Spain on Western Sahara at UPR
04.12 - 2019 / 04.12 - 2019Conflict beach taking shape in Canary Islands
02.12 - 2019 / 02.12 - 2019Dutch inspectors confirm controversial fish oil
02.12 - 2019 / 02.12 - 2019Kiwi port workers threaten not to discharge Western Sahara cargo
01.12 - 2019 / 30.11 - 2019Conflict sand to cover Canary beach
28.11 - 2019 / 25.11 - 2019Will COP 25 clarify if it accepts illegal projects?
28.11 - 2019 / 27.11 - 2019Enel signs contract to build Boujdour wind farm
21.11 - 2019 / 21.11 - 2019New Zealand port workers warn Kiwi importer of Saharawi phosphate
20.11 - 2019 / 19.11 - 2019Hans Corell criticizes EU fisheries in Western Sahara
10.11 - 2019 / 08.11 - 2019Turkey’s conflict aquaculture exposed
08.11 - 2019 / 07.11 - 2019CGG blames Shell for Saharawi survey
16.10 - 2019 / 16.10 - 2019GeoEx pushes seismic data from occupied land
15.10 - 2019 / 15.10 - 2019Fish oil from occupied Western Sahara imported into the Netherlands?
04.10 - 2019 / 11.09 - 2019Anchoring occupation: Morocco to construct $1bn port in Western Sahara
09.09 - 2019 / 09.09 - 2019German trade fair should stop promoting Azura, groups say


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


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.
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. News Archive 2019 News Archive 2018 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