Qatar Petroleum has agreed to acquire a stake of 30% in the Tarfaya Shallow Exploration Permit located offshore Morocco from Italian oil and gas major Eni.


Image: Qatar Petroleum to acquire 30% stake in Tarfaya Shallow Exploration Permit. Photo: courtesy of C Morrison/

The Tarfaya Shallow Exploration Permit comprises a series of 12 neighboring blocks located in the Atlantic Ocean.

In December 2017, Eni won the exploration permits from the Moroccan government. The Italian oil and gas giant, through its subsidiary Eni Maroc is the operator of the exploration permit with a stake of 75%, which will be brought down to 45% after completion of the deal.

Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) holds the remaining 25% stake in the blocks.

The Tarfaya Shallow Exploration Permit is spread over an area of 23,900km2, with the constituent blocks contained in water depth ranging from zero to 1,000m. The 12 blocks are located offshore the Moroccan cities of Sidi Ifni, Tan Tan and Tarfaya.

According to Qatar Petroleum, the first phase of exploration at the offshore Moroccan permit will conclude in 2020. It includes geological and geophysical studies which aim to further define potential prospects/leads followed by evaluation of the full potential of the blocks.

Qatar Petroleum president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “We hope that the exploration efforts are successful, and we look forward to collaborating with our partners Eni and ONHYM. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Moroccan authorities and our partners for their support.

“This opportunity is in line with Qatar Petroleum’s strategy to enter into exploration activities in frontier basins with high hydrocarbon resource potential as we intensify our efforts to expand our portfolio at home and abroad.”

The closing of the transaction will be based on authorization by the Moroccan authorities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the parties.

Earlier this week, Eni signed a farm out agreement to offload a stake of 25.5% in the deep offshore Mozambican exploration block A5-A to Qatar Petroleum.

Block A5-A, which is located in the Angoche basin, spans over an area of 5,133km2. The Mozambican block is contained in 300-1,800m range of water depths in an area that has been completely unexplored as of now.

Eni and Qatar Petroleum have similar offshore partnerships in Oman and Mexico.