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Morocco eyed for oil and gas reserves

Dec. 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM

LONDON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Acquiring opportunities in the natural resources of Morocco gives Gulfsands Petroleum the chance to diversify its Middle East holdings, an executive said.

Gulfsands Petroleum announced it acquired Cabre Maroc Ltd., a subsidiary of British independent Caithness Petroleum, in a deal valued at around $19 million. Gulfsands said the company has "an extensive portfolio" of around 5,100 square miles of "highly prospective oil and gas" acres in northern Morocco.

Gulfsands Chief Executive Officer Ric Malcolm said even if modest returns are realized from the Morocco acreage, it would be a benefit to his company.

"We believe this acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity to develop a substantial business in Morocco, with potential near term cash flow and exciting exploration upside and in a country well recognized for its stability and attractive fiscal terms," he said in a statement.

The company announced a similar acquisition last month in Tunisia. Gulfsands operations in the Middle East were hurt last year because of the civil war in Syria.

Gulfsands said it expects to complete the Carbre Maroc acquisition next month. Drilling in Morocco is expected in early 2014.

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