Unlike some of its neighbors, Morocco is not a major producer of oil and gas. Next door, Algeria is a huge natural gas producer, the largest in Africa. It is also the continent’s second largest producer of oil. And its position on the Mediterranean provides it with great access to large markets. Through a series of pipelines, Algeria is a key supplier of natural gas to Europe, second only to Russia.
But Morocco isn’t quite as well-endowed. Instead, Morocco is actually a net energy importer. The little bit of oil and gas that the country does produce is needed for domestic consumption, leaving little for export. As of 2013, Morocco only produced 5,100 barrels of oil per day and 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas while consumption far exceeded those totals – 209,000 barrels per day and 38 BCF.
Morocco is intent on changing that, however. The country has large swathes of conventional crude oil and gas that are still unexplored, and there is also potential for sizable shale resources, perhaps as high as 20 trillion cubic feet. In order to spur development, the government has gone to great lengths to make foreign investment in upstream oil and gas exploration attractive.
Morocco – Land of the Small Players
While most of the oil majors won’t waste their time with the relatively small drilling possibilities, Morocco still has a lot to offer for some smaller companies.
Circle Oil (AIM: COP) is one driller…