Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas has entered into a petroleum agreement and association contract with Morocco’s national oil company Office National de Recherches et d’Explorations Pétrolires (ONAREP). Petronas said the deal covering the offshore deepwater Rabat-Sale Haute Mer area was signed through its wholly-owned subsidiary Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd (PCOSB),

The agreement and the contract were signed recently in the Moroccan city of Rabat by Petronas president and CEO Mohd Hassan Marican and ONAREP’s director general Madame Amina Benkhadra. The Rabat-Sale Haute Mer block, covering an area of 14,000 sq km, is located in water depth of between 1,000 and 4,000 metres.

The two companies will acquire and process 2,000 kilometers of new 2D seismic data and drill one exploration well in the initial period of three years. Later, PCOSB will acquire and process 1,000 km of new 2D seismic data and drill another exploration well in the First Extension Period of two years, and then acquire and process another 1,000 km of new 2D seismic data and drill one more exploration well in the subsequent Second Extension Period of three years.

Petronas Carigali is the operator with 75% equity while the other 25% is held by ONAREP.

Petronas already has interest in the Tiznit block in Morocco and is actively engaged in the upstream operations in other countries in northern Africa.