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Spain and Morocco compete for oil search in Canary Islands

Source : | 21 March 2012 |  News | 2658 views


MADRID, 21 MARCH – Spain and Morocco are competing in the search for oil in the deep-sea area of Canary Islands, near the sea border with Morocco. This can be inferred from what the Industry, Tourism and Trade Minister José Manuel Soria has stated today during a radio interview at Radio Onda Zero. Soria confirmed that Morocco “is already carrying out surveys” in the area, which is allegedly located “on the border of the imaginary line ideally separating the Kingdom of Morocco from the Kingdom of Spain”. According to the Minister, if there actually is oil, “there will be two options: either Morocco extracts it or both Morocco and Spain do, each on its side of the line”. Soria ensured that the chance of finding oil “is good”, totalling 20%.

The Minister also underlined that the potential production of any oil fields totals 140,000 barrels of raw oil in 20 years, the equivalent of 10% of daily consumption in Spain. According to the Minister, overall the Canary Island oil would allow Spain to save EUR 28 bln on its energy invoice. With regard to opposition by the Canary Islands’local authorities and environmental protection groups, who fear that the environment and tourism (the archipelago’s main industry) would suffer irreversible damage, the Industry Minister maintained that the debate is “unnecessary and groundless”, because surveys will be carried out at a 61-km distance from the coast “nearly in the middle of the ocean”.

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