Spain interested in oil found at Inezgane

Following the discovery of a billion barrels of oil off the coast of Inezgane, announced by the British company Europa Oil & Gas, several Spanish media and officials panicked and made the link with the Canary Islands.

The British company has announced that it has identified “a large volume of recoverable resources at Inezgane at no risk in excess of 1 billion barrels, in the first 5 outlook alone”.

This announcement was greeted like a cold shower in Spain, especially in the Canary Islands, close to the coasts where the discoveries were made. And rightly so, concerns have been raised about an alleged “threat” to Spain’s interests in these waters, which, as a reminder, are part of the Moroccan maritime space.

Still, Spain need not be wary or hyped about it, as the company says it is still “exploring” a high-impact “opportunity”.

The resources are only estimates at this stage and have not yet been formally discovered (no drilling) that in Spain the news is already making people shudder.

Indeed, politicians in Spain and the media quickly got on the board. Spanish diplomatic sources consulted by the ABC news site claim to be “monitoring very closely”.

“We are closely monitoring any activity that could harm Spain’s interests in the waters under its sovereignty or jurisdiction,” these diplomatic sources, quoted by ABC, said, adding that the government is “firm in Spain’s defense interests.” and true to the views it holds”.

The Iberian media also wonders how Morocco was able to discover these deposits when the Spanish company specializing in the search for hydrocarbon deposits had been conducting explorations in the region for 13 years without convincing results.

In the Canary Islands, the National Secretary General of the Canary Coalition PNC, Fernando Clavijo, called for the creation of a “Canary Front” with all institutions, social and economic actors and society “to protect the islands from the interests from Morocco”, the same source indicates.

But for its part, the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, put it into perspective by recalling that two years ago, when Morocco adapted the delimitation of its maritime space (and when this had caused a crisis, editor’s note), he had stated that “not a millimeter of the waters of the Canary Islands would be affected” and he confirmed that indeed “they were not affected”.

Morocco and Spain have just emerged from a serious diplomatic crisis that will last 10 months. The two countries have ratified an agreement to take their relations to the next level, one worthy of the “21st century”.

The two countries have decided to reactivate the working group established in 2001 for the delineation of the maritime areas of the Atlantic coast, according to the joint statement approving the visit of the head of the Spanish government Pedro Sanchez to Rabat. It will be a matter of finding concrete solutions for the overlap of maritime zones.

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