Spain Acknowledges Morocco’s Right to Offshore Gas & Oil Exploration

The Polisario and its supporters in Spain have suffered a new setback after the Spanish Foreign Minister acknowledged Morocco’s legitimate right to explore gas and oil in its territorial waters.

Far-left party, Podemos, which supports separatism in the Sahara, has tried to instigate the Spanish government against Morocco’s oil and gas explorations offshore Tan Tan, Tarfaya and Sidi Ifni raising environmental concerns.

The response of Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis to such pro-polisario claims was resounding. “Morocco has the right to manage its territorial waters as it wishes. No one can deny it such a right”, said Dastis.

“There is no doubt that the explorations are taking place within the scope of Morocco’s territorial waters,” he added, stressing that “Morocco’s development and prosperity are legitimate goals that Spain has to respect and promote.”

Italian Oil & Gas Company Eni has signed a Petroleum Agreement (PA) with the Moroccan State Company ONHYM to explore the Tarfaya Offshore area, located in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean offshore the cities of Sidi Ifni, Tan Tan and Tarfaya.

Under the agreement, Eni will be the Operator of the license with a 75 pc stake, while ONHYM will retain a 25 pc stake. The exploration rights cover an area of 23,900 square kilometers, divided into 12 separate exploration areas.

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