US oil company doesn't believe in independence

"Kosmos believes it has made the right bet as to which party will prevail", a presentation about the company stated.
Published: 06.05 - 2008 14:03Printer version    
The Texas based company Kosmos Energy today published a profile by IHS on their homepages, dated 28th of April 2008.

The presentatino states:

"The final asset in the Kosmos portfolio is a huge (nearly 44,000 sq km) block offshore Morocco that the company calls its "frontier project of choice." About half of the Boujdour Offshore exploration permit lies on the shelf, with the over half extending into deep waters. Kosmos holds a 75% interest with the Moroccan National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (Onhym) carried for 25%. The acreage is disputed with Western Sahara, but Kosmos believes it has made the right bet as to which party will prevail. Below ground, Kosmos believes Boujdour presents the opportunity to explore an untested early Cretaceous delta, similar in size to the Niger Delta. Cretaceous reservoirs and large structural traps have already been proven. The risk is a petroleum system has yet to be established, making Morocco an exception to the company's insistence on a proven source rock being a premise for investment." (Our emphasis)

Kosmos is the only oil company today present offshore the occupied Western Sahara. No countries in the world recognise the Moroccan presence in the territory, but Kosmos does. Kosmos keeps referring to the agreement as being situated in "Morocco" proper. A legal opinion by the UN in 2002, established it would be in violation of international law to go drilling.

"The reasons why Western Sahara Resource Watch feels it crucial to highlight foreign companies' activities in occupied Western Sahara, is because the firms give a clear impression of legitimisation of the illegal and brutal occupation, just as Kosmos is now doing", said Javier García Lachica, WSRW's international coordinator.

Kosmos has since their beginning in Western Sahara been acting highly unethically, openly supporting the Moroccan presence. But since the company's had no shareholders, it has been difficult to put pressure on the company's leadership to make them withdraw from the area.

According to the company profile, Kosmos is considering going public.

"If Kosmos dares to go public, we promise to have meetings with every single shareholder about their activities in Western Sahara", said Javier García Lachica.

"We are very confident that the shareholders will understand the concept of business ethics -something that the company's directors of today do not."

Up until 2006, the WSRW network campaigned the different oil companies involved offshore Western Sahara. After intense shareholder pressure, all of them withdrew from the territory. Since then, WSRW has growed quickly, and today consists of member organisations in around 30 countries worldwide.

Download the Kosmos presentation here.



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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