Category Archives: Morocco

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of nearly 33 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara. It is a part of the Maghreb region, besides Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya, with whom it shares cultural, historical, and linguistic ties.

Kosmos Energy Announces 3Q Results. Provides Update on Operations Offshore Ghana

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Kosmos Energy  announced yesterday financial results for the third quarter 2011. The Company generated net income attributable to common shareholders of $52 million in the third quarter of 2011, or $0.13 per basic and diluted share. This compares to a net loss attributable to common unit holders of $99 million for the same period in 2010.

Highlights for the third quarter 2011 include:

  • Two Jubilee liftings totaling approximately 2 million barrels of oil, net to Kosmos
  • EBITDAX of $191 million
  • Grew total liquidity by over $115 million to nearly $1.1 billion
  • Exploration discovery at Akasa on West Cape Three Points Block
  • Successful Enyenra-3 appraisal well on Deepwater Tano Block
  • Jubilee Unit participation interest increased as a result of expert redetermination
  • Expanded exploration portfolio, with increase in offshore Morocco position to approximately 12 million gross acres

Third-quarter 2011 oil revenues were $230 million, or $115.50 per barrel sold. Production expense was $24 million, or $12.13 per barrel, and depletion and depreciation was $43 million, an average of $21.36 per barrel. Exploration expense for the third quarter 2011 was $11 million. General and administrative costs were $39 million, with over 50 percent related to non-cash items, primarily the Company’s long-term equity incentive compensation program. Interest expense was $17 million. The effective tax rate for the third quarter 2011 was 49 percent.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the third quarter 2011 was $656 million, with long-term debt of $1 billion. Total liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents and available borrowing under the debt facility, was nearly $1.1 billion.

Brian F. Maxted, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our results for the third quarter were very strong, supported by our oil liftings and continued robust Brent pricing. While production at Jubilee has not ramped up as quickly as planned, the ultimate resources recoverable from this giant field are unchanged, and we continue to be encouraged by its reservoir performance. We had a number of positives in our exploration and appraisal drilling programs for the quarter, with successes on both of our Ghana blocks, which continue to highlight the value upside of our Ghana assets. At the same time, we are further enhancing the Company’s portfolio of exploration opportunities, capturing substantial acreage offshore Morocco during the quarter.”

Jubilee Unit Redetermination

A redetermination of the Jubilee Unit tract participation interest was recently completed, resulting in an increase in Kosmos’ Unit interest. As determined by an independent expert analysis, a greater portion of the Jubilee field resources reside in the West Cape Three Points Block than was established under the original tract participations. The original tract participations in the Jubilee Unit were 50 percent for both the West Cape Three Points and Deepwater Tano Blocks. After expert analysis, the Unit interests have been changed to 54.37 percent for the West Cape Three Points Block and 45.63 percent for the Deepwater Tano Block. Accordingly, the Company’s Jubilee Unit interest increased to 24.08 percent from 23.51 percent.

Operational Update

Ghana

All of the Jubilee Phase 1 wells have been drilled, and current oil production is approximately 80,000 barrels per day. Identified completion issues require one of the producing wells to be sidetracked, as well as downhole remediation on certain other wells. Once these completion issues have been resolved, production is expected to continue ramping up toward the FPSO facility capacity. The J-7 production well is currently being sidetracked, with completion expected at the beginning of 2012. Additionally, the Phase 1A development, including five production and three injection wells, is being planned to commence drilling in 2012.

Kosmos is currently drilling the Teak-3 appraisal well on the West Cape Three Points Block, testing a potential updip stratigraphic extension of the discovery wells. Results at Teak-3 are expected by the end of November 2011. The Teak-4 appraisal well is scheduled to begin drilling late in the first quarter of 2012.

On the Deepwater Tano Block, Kosmos and its partners are currently redrilling the Enyenra-1 (previously known as Owo-1) discovery well, with plans to perform a drill stem test at that location. Immediately following operations at Enyenra-1, the Enyenra-4 appraisal well will be drilled over 4 miles downdip from Enyenra-2, on the south flank of the discovery. Results at Enyenra-4 are expected in the first quarter of 2012.

New Ventures Portfolio

Kosmos’ new ventures team is pursuing a number of opportunities to further enhance the Company’s exposure to new petroleum systems. Kosmos recently entered into a new petroleum agreement for the Essaouira Block offshore the Kingdom of Morocco. The Essaouira Block covers 2.9 million gross acres and is located north of the Company’s Foum Assaka Block. Both blocks are in the Agadir basin. Kosmos will be the operator of the Essaouira Block with a 37.5 percent working interest. As a result of the new agreement, Kosmos’ total acreage position offshore Morocco has grown to approximately 12 million gross acres. The Company is planning an approximately 5,000 square kilometer seismic shoot offshore Morocco on the Foum Assaka and Essaouira Blocks, targeted to begin before year-end 2011.

Kosmos Energy Ltd. is an international oil and gas exploration and production company focused on underexplored regions in Africa. The Company’s asset portfolio includes major discoveries and exploration prospects with significant hydrocarbon potential in several West African countries. Kosmos is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol KOS.

Source: Kosmos Energy, November 11, 2011

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Thousands of protesters demand "A New Morocco"

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By Souhail Karam

CASABLANCA, Morocco | Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:12pm EDT

(Reuters) – Thousands took to the streets of Morocco on Sunday in peaceful demonstrations to demand sweeping reforms and an end to political detention, the third day of mass protests since they began in February.

Desperate to avoid the turmoil that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, authorities have already announced some changes to placate demands that King Mohammed cede more powers and limit the monarchy’s extensive business influence.

Some 10,000 people joined the protest in Casablanca, the largest city in one of the West’s staunchest Arab allies. Marchers in the capital Rabat also denounced corruption and torture as well as unemployment, very high among youths.

Policing has been low-key for protests by the February 20 Movement, named after the date of its first march, particularly compared to the turmoil elsewhere in North Africa.

“This is more about the young ones than it is about us,” said Redouane Mellouk, who had brought his 8 year-old son Mohamed Amine, carrying a placard demanding “A New Morocco.”

“Our parents could not talk to us about political issues. They were too afraid. This must change,” said Mellouk.

Although levels of popular anger have risen, ratings agencies assess Morocco as the country in the region least likely to become embroiled in the type of unrest that toppled Tunisian and Egyptian regimes and led to the conflict in Libya.

In Rabat, several thousand people marched through poor districts with high levels of unemployment and away from the center, where the previous monthly demonstrations have been held. There was no sign of trouble.

DISAFFECTED YOUTH

A 74 year-old man in Casablanca who gave his name only as Ahmed said Morocco’s youths were right to protest.

“Look at them. They are educated and like most young educated Moroccans, they are idle,” he said. “Everything in this country is done through privileges. You need an uncle or a relative somewhere to get somewhere.”

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, but the constitution empowers the king to dissolve the legislature, impose a state of emergency and have a decisive say in government appointments.

King Mohammed last month announced constitutional reforms to give up some of his powers and make the judiciary independent, but protesters want more.

There is also resentment at the royal family’s business interests through its holding company SNI.

One of the banners waved by the Casablanca marchers depicted the King’s holdings as an octopus with tentacles stretching out to subsidiary companies. “Either money or power,” it said.

Islamists also joined in the protests, demanding the release of all political prisoners. Authorities freed 92 political prisoners, most of whom were members of the Islamist Salafist Jihad group, earlier this month.

In Rabat, the wife of Islamist Bouchta Charef, who has said he was tortured in prison while accused of terrorism, called for all Islamists to be freed.

“They have made my children homeless,” Zehour Dabdoubu told Reuters. “Every month I move from one house to another. I’m persecuted because people think I am the wife of a terrorist.”

The banned Islamist opposition group Al Adl Wal Ihsane has maintained a low profile at the February 20 demonstrations, but said it supports them.

“It’s excellent what’s happening in Morocco. It’s a quiet revolution,” Nadia Yassine, daughter of the movement’s founder, told Reuters by telephone. “We’re moving slowly but surely.”

Original Article

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