Both Morocco and Mauritania are set to see a flurry of offshore exploration drilling over the next 18 months. With BP this week becoming the third major to enter Morocco, MENA’s ‘Atlantic margin’ is no longer of marginal interest. BP bought sizeable stakes in three contiguous blocks offshore southern Morocco from Texas-based independent Kosmos. The blocks total 25,000 sq km with water depths up to 3,000m.

BP takes 45% of the Essaouira Offshore and Tarhazout blocks and 26.325% of Foum Assaka. Kosmos will remain operator of all three with shares of around 30%. Moroccan state firm ONHYM has 25% of each and UK-based minnow Fastnet has 18.75% of Foum Assaka. (CONTINUED - 603 WORDS)