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A Moroccan court has placed the country’s sole refiner Samir into administration. Trading in the company’s shares has been suspended since its 200,000 b/d Mohammedia plant halted operations last August when the Moroccan authorities froze Samir’s bank accounts over a MD13bn ($1.33bn) tax claim. Rabat estimates Samir’s total debt at MD44bn ($4.51bn).
Samir is 67.3%-owned by Sweden-registered Coral Petroleum, which in turn is owned by Saudi businessman Muhammad Husain al-Amudi. Mr Amudi disputes the sum owed and has been trying to negotiate a settlement with the Moroccan authorities.
Morocco’s oil demand is around 250,000 b/d, but Samir’s annual output has not averaged more than 140,000 b/d since capacity was expanded from 120,000 b/d to 200,000 b/d in 2012. Morocco’s 254,000 b/d average demand for August-December 2015 was all met through imports.
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