WSRW asks Cairn Energy to stay out of Western Sahara
WSRW has asked Cairn Energy to reconsider its involvement in occupied Western Sahara. Through its partnership with American oil firm Kosmos Energy, Cairn will take part in further exploration works in the territory, including exploratory drilling.
WSRW and its British partner organisation Western Sahara Campaign have written to Cairn Energy, appealing the firm to uphold its own lema; “doing things right”.
Cairn has recently teamed up with Kosmos Energy for the so-called Boujdour block, an area with oil potential located offshore Boujdour, a coastal town in Western Sahara - a territory that is largely under Moroccan occupation since 1975. Both Kosmos and Cairn erroneously locate the oil block in Morocco, though.
“Under the terms of the farm-in agreement, which is subject to Morocco Government approval, Cairn will pay a promoted share of future exploration costs, towards a 3D seismic survey, an exploration well planned for 2014 and, if successful, two appraisal wells, all subject to a maximum expenditure cap“, the Scotland based oil firm Cairn Energy wrote.
The United Nations consider the search for oil in Western Sahara in violation of international law. In pursueing their quest, in spite of the UN legal opinion, several oil companies are actively contributing to Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara, thereby undermining the UN peace process. Among those is Cairn Energy.
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.
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