Rabat - Studies and works carried out by the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM) and its partners at different sedimentary basins of the Kingdom have shown the existence of petroleum systems and several potential deposits, said ONHYM director-general Amina Benkhadra.
"There are promising prospects for oil exploration in Morocco, Benkhadra told Morocoan newspaper Al Sahrae Al Maghribiya, adding that the overall budget for oil exploration nears 5 billion dirhams in 2014.
Several agreements have been signed with 30 specialized companies covering different regions of the Kingdom, she added, noting that 113 exploration permits (90 maritime) and 4 recognition permits have been delivered so far.
In 2013, ONHYM had released about 58 million dirhams to fund oil exploration, while 2.337 billion dirhams was granted by ONHYM's partners, an equivalent of 97 pc of the overall investment cost.
In reaction to media reports on oil discoveries in Morocco, Benkhadra recalled that exploration operations can last several years (between 7 and 15 years) and require long term work and research, adding that oil exploration is a high-risk operation due to its complexity and unpredictable results.