The Irish oil firm stated today that it had completed its seismic services in "Morocco". The release fails to mention that the exploration was in fact done in occupied Western Sahara. The UN states such search to be in violation of international law.
“We view Morocco as a long term project for the Company with significant upside over a huge unexplored area", stated chairman of San Leon, OIsin Fanning in a press release today (or download).
The release fails to mention that the search takes place not in Morocco, but in the territory it illegally and brutally occupied in 1975. The firm holds two licences both located partially in Western Sahara, a territory under UN process of decolonisation.
According to the release, the survey included more than 2,280 km of 2D seismic across its Tarfaya and Zag Licenses onshore Morocco. The data was acquired by San Leon Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary, NovaSeis.
"The completion of our seismic program is the next step in bringing our projects closer to drilling", stated the San Leon chair.
In 2002, the UN stated that any further oil search in Western Sahara would be in violation of international law.
The Saharawis have repeatedly protested against the Irish-Moroccan oil search in the occupied territory.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.