Western Sahara is part of Morocco, San Leon states before drilling

Irish/UK oil company San Leon Energy stated to Irish media today that next month's drilling is located in "Moroccan Southern Provices". Only one government in the world labels the occupied territory in similar way: Morocco. Irish lawyers warn of legal steps.
Published: 13.07 - 2015 13:18Printer version    
San Leon Energy stated to  Irish Independent today,  that their partnership with Morocco will be to the benefit Morocco and to the solution of the conflict. Its remarkably political terminology. It seems to disagree with investors who state that such oil industry undermines the UN peace process though its support to the illegal Moroccan occupation.

The Independent quoted San Leon with the following:

"San Leon's operations are in keeping with our obligations under international law and work for the betterment of all persons in the Southern Provinces of Morocco. [..] Our operations in the Southern Provinces are in line with fundamental ethical norms, and actions to inhibit them are not merely incorrect but work counter to the interests of the local population and against the final resolution of conflict. [..] The well we are now seeking to drill will ultimately determine if there are commercial quantities of hydrocarbon resources in the area. [..] To object to our operations here, as some do, on the basis that they may further the interests of the government of Morocco is tantamount to objecting to the building of roads because tanks may drive on them - so may school buses, and goods vehicles, and ambulances," he said.

San Leon (previously called Island Oil and Gas) thus holds the same position as Kosmos Energy and Total, in that it does not need to take into account the wishes of the people of the territory. None of the companies have sought the consent of the people of Western Sahara. The contracts are signed with the government of Morocco, which refuses the territory to be a Non-Self-Governing Territory. The UN has concluded that any further exploration of oil in Western Sahara must be in accordance with the wishes and interests people of the Western Sahara. San Leon has consistently avoided to use the words 'Western Sahara' in its reports and company presentations.

According to Irish Independent, the Irish organisation of lawers Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), told will take legal action against the company over the plan.

"The right of a people to choose how or even whether to use their natural resources is one of the cornerstones of international human rights law", GLAN stated.

San Leon Energy has to WSRW's knowledge never responded to letters of concern from civil society. On only one occasion in the past has the company made comments to the media over the controversy: In an interview with Irish TV station RTE in 2011, a company representative stated it does not need to pay attention to the Saharawis, as "they are not representative".


06.03 - 2018 / 06.03 - 2018Kosmos Energy maintains propaganda site after Western Sahara exit
02.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018What is HeidelbergCement doing in occupied Western Sahara?
01.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018Confirmed: Innophos key client of Western Sahara phosphate rock
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018South Africa stands up against the plunder of Western Sahara
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018Bermuda shipping company drops Western Sahara
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018EU and Morocco announce continued fisheries partnership
27.02 - 2018 / 23.02 - 2018EU Parliament slams Commission on Western Sahara talks
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018Polisario: open to negotiate Western Sahara deals with the EU
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018Saharawi refugees celebrate EU Court victory
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018BREAKING: EU Court stops EU-Morocco fish deal in Western Sahara
23.02 - 2018 / 23.02 - 2018SA Court confirms: Morocco has no ownership over Saharawi phoshates
23.02 - 2018 / 21.02 - 2018EU Member States disagree over toxic fertilizers
21.02 - 2018 / 21.02 - 2018Vigeo Eiris goes back on false claim
20.02 - 2018 / 20.02 - 2018EU Parliamentarians concerned over Commission's respect of rule of law
15.02 - 2018 / 15.02 - 2018Sweden to vote against new EU-Morocco fish talks
08.02 - 2018 / 08.02 - 2018Studies continue on Kosmos Energy's block
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Kosmos and Cairn have pulled out of Western Sahara
07.02 - 2018 / 07.02 - 2018Why WSRW refuses to take part in the EU's Western Sahara consultation
03.02 - 2018 / 03.02 - 2018Unison condemnation of the EU Commission from Western Sahara groups
02.02 - 2018 / 01.02 - 2018Siemens fails to respond Western Sahara question at AGM


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.
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Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


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Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
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