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US' Kosmos to drill first oil well offshore Morocco in mid-March: official

Dallas-based Kosmos Energy plans to drill its first well offshore Morocco in the coming weeks in a bid to unlock the multi-billion barrel potential of the North African country's waters, a senior Kosmos official said Tuesday.

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Speaking at International Petroleum Week in London, Kosmos' country manager for Morocco, Ragnar Fredsted, said Morocco's offshore was one of the last remaining unexplored deepwater basins in the world.

"We will spud the first well in a couple of weeks -- in mid-March," he said.

Fredsted said there was no more acreage available offshore Morocco as the industry "cottoned on" to its potential.


Oil companies have poured into Morocco in recent years including Chevron and Plains Exploration & Production of the US, Portugal's Galp Energia and UK-Anglo Genel Energy.

Between them, some 10 exploration wells will be drilled in the next 1-2 years, Fredsted said.

No exploration wells had been drilled offshore Morocco for 10 years until a failed well drilled in 2013 by the UK's Cairn Energy.

Cairn has interests in three blocks offshore Morocco -- two as operator and one as non-operator.

The first well, FD-1, encountered gas shows, but was plugged and abandoned, while a second well, JM-1, is currently drilling, Cairn chief operating officer Paul Mayland said at the same event.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@platts.com
--Edited by James Leech, james.leech@platts.com