Morocco claims to be in negotiation with an oil company for a new block offshore Western Sahara.
The new block, labelled Foum Ognit Offshore is located just south west of the capital city of Western Sahara, El Aaiun.
By mid January 2013, the block was labelled as "open acreage" on the maps of Morocco's state oil company ONHYM. However, as of beginning of April 2013, the block had changed status on ONHYM's maps, and is currently labelled "under negotiation". The block is 8013 sq.kilometers large.
Further oil exploration Western Sahara is according to the UN in violation of international law as long as the Saharawis don't benefit and if they do not consent. Several companies have pulled out from the territory after being made aware of the controversies involved.
Morocco occupies a part of the territory, and has no rights to negotate such deals for the territory which is not theirs.
See the status change and size adjustment of the Foum Ognit block below. The western boundary of the block is moved westwards, to the median line between the Saharawi seacoast and Spain’s Canary Islands.
ONHYM, 14.01.2013 ONHYM, 04.04.2013
The final assets that Glencore held in oil exploration in occupied Western Sahara have been sold.