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Israeli firm NewMed Energy signs natural gas deal with Morocco

Agreement marks success in the normalization of relations between Israel and various Arab nations following the Abraham Accords

Illustrative: Tamar gas field of the coast of Israel. (Photo: NewMed Energy/Delek Drilling)

Israel’s NewMed Energy, a gas and oil exploration and production company, announced on Tuesday an agreement to explore potential reserves off the coast of Morocco. 

The agreement includes Moroccan firm Adarco Energy Limited, which will have an equal share with NewMed – 37.5% each – with the remainder going to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, as required by the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco. 

NewMed Energy has been in negotiations with Morocco since February to obtain an exploration license.

“We have long identified enormous potential in Morocco and today’s announcement is part of an extensive strategic move that will render NewMed Energy the leading energy body in the East Mediterranean region and North Africa,” NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said in a statement.

The license covers exploration in the Boujdour Atlantique gas field, in the southern part of Morocco’s offshore economic zone, for eight years, and still requires regulatory approval by the Moroccan government. According to the work plan, surveying will start within 30 months of the license being granted, with initial exploration drilling to commence after about 2.5 years. 

The agreement is another indication of the success of the normalization of relations between Israel and various Arab nations following the Abraham Accords. Israel has leveraged its natural gas resources to improve its diplomatic standing with neighbors Jordan and Egypt, and the latest agreement could positively impact Morocco’s energy trade balance, as Morocco currently imports most of its gas from Spain. 

NewMed Energy is an E&P (exploration and production) unit of Delek Group Ltd., one of Israel’s largest companies, which rose to prominence with its work in the Leviathan and Tamar reservoirs in the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Israel. Delek Group’s efforts led Israel to become an energy exporter for the first time. 

At present, Delek Group is looking to expand into new markets, including the North Sea and North America. NewMed is the firm’s unit that focuses on Mediterranean E&P opportunities. 

According to reports in Reuters and i24 News, NewMed Energy wants to merge with Britain’s Capricorn Energy, to create a gas production company focused on Israel and Egypt.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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