San Leon admits working for the interest of Morocco
San Leon Energy "has the long-term interest of Morocco in mind", company chairman Oisin Fanning stated to Irish media today. The company plans drilling in the territory under illegal Moroccan occupation.
Published: 23.07 - 2015 13:00Printer version    
Irish Independent today confronted the chairman of San Leon Energy with the operation they are undertaking in Western Sahara.

No states in the world, nor the UN, recognises the territory as part of Morocco. Yet, San Leon is of a different opinion.

"The company has the long-term interest of Morocco in mind, and we are fortunate to be working in a country known for toleration and moderation", Oisin Fanning stated.

All associations in Western Sahara have to this date protested the Moroccan oil drilling and their partners in Western Sahara.

"San Leon refutes any implication that the company is somehow acting as a rogue actor. We believe the stridency of our critics comes from their knowledge that their position is not shared by the local community", the chairman stated.

A company representative has also stated to Irish media in the past that it does not intend to listen to the people of Western Sahara, that they do not have a contact with them as they are 'not a representative people' and that the Saharawis 'would not speak to us'.

"We are not the first western company to operate in the Southern Provinces (of Morocco) under the United Nations process. San Leon is proud to act in unison with other major oil and gas companies in the region [...] "We wish to state strongly that we take our obligations under international law, and principles of ethical commercial conduct, seriously", Fanning stated.

Several investors have in the past excluded oil companies from having exploration agreements in Western Sahara, such as the Norwegian Government Pension Fund which stated in 2005 that such activities constitute "'a particularly serious violation of fundamental ethical norms' e.g. because it may strengthen Morocco’s sovereignty claims and thus contribute to undermining the UN peace process.




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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


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 five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


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. News Archive 2019 News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy