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Israel, Morocco sign natural gas exploration deal

Morocco's Energy Transition and Sustainable Development minister Leila Benali speaks during the Rome MED, Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome, Italy, on December 02, 2022. [Riccardo De Luca - Anadolu Agency]

Israel's NewMed Energy signed a deal with Morocco's energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production.

"For a long time now, we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors," NewMed CEO, Yossi Abu, said in a statement.

According to NewMed, each company will be allocated a 37.5 per cent stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence. Meanwhile, the ministry will hold the remaining 25 per cent.

The Boujdour Atlantique licence is based in the southern part of Morocco's offshore economic zone and was granted for eight years, the company added.

The agreements, which will enable the two countries to carry out geological and geophysical analyses and eventually conduct exploratory drilling by mid-2025, have yet to be approved by Morocco's Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Finance.

Israel and Morocco announced the resumption of diplomatic relations in December 2020, after they were suspended in 2000. Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalise ties with the occupation state of Israel after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan.

Moroccan bodies and parties have categorically rejected the normalisation of relations with Israel and held numerous protests against the move.

READ: Morocco hosts conference to promote normalisation with Israel

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