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Morocco’s stalled and so far unsuccessful deepwater exploration got a shot in the arm with the 7 February entry of state firm Qatar Petroleum (QP). The latter took 30% of three large deepwater permits – Cap Walida Deep, Cap Cantin Deep and Cap Rhir Deep – from operator Chevron, reducing the US major’s share to 45%. Moroccan state Onhym retains 25%.
Chevron signed up to explore the three virgin blocks in early 2013 (MEES, 1 February 2013). It undertook 2D seismic in 2014 and 3D last year. Chevron’s entry – the first major in the Moroccan offshore – was followed by BP (MEES, 18 October 2013). But that marked a highpoint of interest. None of the dozen or so deepwater wells spudded since have struck commercial oil or gas; interest was already tailing off when collapsing oil prices seemingly provided the coup de grace. (CONTINUED - 366 WORDS)