- North Africa
- Energy - Finance - Oil
Morocco: Natural gas discovery to ease strain on budget
95% of the country’s energy needs are imported
The National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) confirmed, Tuesday, the discovery of two offshore reserves of natural gas in Morocco.
The finding of the two natural gas reserves comes only a few weeks after three onshore wells were dug in the Gharb as part of efforts by the Moroccan government to develop its energy resources.
Information from sources close to the consortium, pertaining to initial tests, reveal that the two pockets of gas discoveries contain more than 2.82 billion cubic meters of gas.
According to ONHYM, the "Anchois 1" discovery is expected to the ease the energy strain on the Moroccan budget. Over 95% of the country’s energy needs are imported.
In 2007, the energy bill was around 52 billion dirham and appreciated by 34.7% in 2008. This was blamed on the rise in oil prices, which cost the Moroccan government a whopping 70.2 billion dirham.
Despite the decline in oil prices, which began late last year, uncertainty continues to loom over the market. Meanwhile, the discovery is expected to generate hope among Moroccans who, according to reliable sources, have already begun setting up extensive economic projects to accommodate the renewed energy sector.