Things are unclear when it comes to the Boujdour Offshore Shallow block in Western Sahara. Two small companies both claim to possess rights over the block.
The first is called Teredo, a company WSRW has covered in the past. According to the magazine Conjoncture, Teredo holds 75% while ONHYM holds the remaining 25% of the controversial block. Conjoncture wrote that the agreement was signed in December 2010, that it ran for a period of two years, and that it covered acquisition and processing of seismic data.
WSRW first wrote about Teredo involvement in 2011, when the block was first signed. According to the Moroccan official gazette of 16 June 2011, the agreement with Teredo was inked already on 21 February 2011 - a few months later than the date reported by Conconcture. The agreement was signed by the firm “Teredo Morocco Limited” , part of the group “Teredo 1”, according to the gazette.
The latest map from ONHYM, as of 03 July 2013, shows that the licence today is held by "ONHYM-TEREDO" and that the size of the block is 7244,4 sq.km. That means the size of the blocks has been reduced from its original size of 9056 sq.km.
According to the news service Africa Intelligence, 21.Feb 2013, the company has employed Mouhsine Ali M’Barek as its local representative. M'Barek is, according to Africa Intelligence, a former director of the oil assets department of ONAREP that merged with BRPM in 2003 to form ONHYM.
"And he’s by no means a novice. He already represented the U.S. firm Vanco that drew a blank when exploring in Morocco", wrote Africa Intelligence.
Imara does not enlist any activity in Morocco or Western Sahara on its webpages. But in a company presentation dated 13 Nov 2012, Imara claims to hold 100% ownership and a "Production Offshore Agreement (PSA)" over the Boujdour Offshore Shallow block. See the report's page 3 here.
Imara claims to possess a production contract consisting of 3 phases in the block: Phase I – commitment to include seismic processing; Phase II – performance guarantee, 3D seismic, Well to test KI; Phase III – performance guarantee, 3D seismic, Well to test JU or KI.
WSRW has not yet been in contact with Teredo or Imara.
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.
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.