The new block, called Boujdour Deep Offshore, is located to the west of the block currently explored by Kosmos Energy. The block appears on a map that was published on the webpages of the Moroccan state oil company ONHYM.
The new block is what they label as the category “open acreage”, meaning that the government is searching for partners to sign the first licence. The ONHYM map is seemingly dated 23 October 2013.
‘Boujdour Deep Offshore’ is located offshore the territory of Western Sahara, under Moroccan illegal occupation. UN has stated that any further oil exploration of the territory will be in violation of international law unless the people of the territory want it to take place. They don’t.
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.