18 March 2014 PRESS RELEASE SADR AWARDS NEW OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION BLOCK TO RED RIO PETROLEUM LIMITED
The Government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is pleased to announce that it has awarded the Bir Lahlou Block to the UK-based Red Rio Petroleum Limited (“Contractor”), effective from 18 March 2014. The award is under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) terms previously promulgated by the SADR: http://www.sadrpma.com/petroleum_legislation.php
The Bir Lahlou block is situated in the north-east corner of the Territory of Western Sahara (see map here: http://www.sadrpma.com/licence_offering.php , in the area controlled by the Frente POLISARIO, which leads the Government of the SADR. The block overlies part of the Paleozoic Tindouf Basin, which extends eastwards into Algeria and east and south into Mauritania. The Basin sits over the top of a stratigraphic section of rocks ranging in age from Cambrian to Carboniferous, which is analogous to other sub-Atlas basins to the north-east, and which produce large amounts of gas and oil in Algeria.
In addition to exploring the block for conventional oil and gas deposits, the Contractor will conduct a feasibility study of the suitability of the Silurian Black Shale formation to allow production of shale gas or shale oil when drilled and stimulated by hydraulic fracturing. . Initial work will consist of measuring and sampling the Silurian formation in the outcrop, and analyzing the samples for total organic carbon content and degree of maturation or “cooking” undergone.
Following signature of the agreement with the SADR Government, Frederik E. Dekker, Managing Director of Red Rio Petroleum Ltd, said: “We look forward to working with the SADR authorities in evaluating the potential of the Bir Lahlou block for oil and gas, and hope to bring another company with known shale gas and shale oil knowledge from the United States of America to help exploit the block in the second phase.”
Emhamed Khadad, Advisor to the SADR President and member of the Frente Polisario leadership, said: “This is a further demonstration of the SADR’s commitment to pursue the sovereign interests of the Saharawi people in respect of their natural resources in Western Sahara. We continue to encourage appropriately qualified and committed companies to consider partnership with the SADR Government, and will work constructively with Red Rio and our other partners to reveal and realize the enormous natural resource potential of our country.”
For further information:
Kamal Fadel SADR Petroleum and Mining Authority Tel: + 44 (0)7823769687 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.