The following was posted by the news service PESGB in April 2014, ony a few months after the signing of the agreement. (Click on image for higher resolution.)
"New Age (African Global Energy) has received from ONHYM the operatorship of the Foum Ognit exploration permit covering 7,790 sw km in the Aaiun-Tarfaya Basin (Western Sahara). The acreage is located north and adjacent to the Kosmos operated Cap Boujdour I & II blocks, in waters ranging from 50 to 3,000 m deep. The contract, signed in December 2013 is valid for three and a half years and comprises four blocks. The work programme will include geological studies, the reprocessing of existing seismic data, and the acquisition of 2,000 km of 2D and 1,000 sq km of 3D seismic data. New Age has Glencore and ONHYM as partners in the lease. Ras Juby is to the date the only discovery in the Aaiun-Tarfaya Basin. The offshore heavy oil find of Late Jurassic age was made by Exxon in 1969 and deemed non-commercial. Barely a dozen of offshore wells have been drilled in the basin and none for almost 24 years. "
A Glencore investor presentation on 10 December 2014 mentions that they are operators in Boujdour Offshore licence where they have a 38,25% interest, but does not mention it is operator on the Foum Ognit, where they have a 18,5% interest. Both are located offshore occupied Western Sahara. As the gazettes mention no other partners on the block than Glencore, New Age and the Moroccan state oil company ONHYM, it would be safe to conclude New Age is the operator on Foum Ognit.
That story mentioned the publication of the information in the Moroccan government public gazette dated 19 June 2014. That gazette is now also in French.
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.
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.
Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.