The recent flurry of interest in the Moroccan upstream continues with UK independent Gulfsands and Portugal’s Galp Energia the latest to enter the country’s upstream. Gulfsands plans up to nine exploration wells for 2013, with more drilling to follow.

UK-listed Gulfsands, whose key current interests are in war-torn Syria, has been keen to broaden its portfolio. On 19 December Gulfsands paid privately-owned UK minnow Caithness Petroleum $19mn for operator’s stakes in four exploration permits and three gas production concessions onshore northern Morocco (see map). This follows its recent purchase of stakes in two Tunisian exploration permits (MEES, 30 November). Gulfsands expects to close the latest deal in mid-January. (CONTINUED - 824 WORDS)