The Government of the SADR today addressed the plans announced for petroleum exploration and development in the territorial waters of Western Sahara by the multinational companies Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy. The companies particpate in a joint venture pursuant to licences granted illegally by Morocco’s state petroleum agency, the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM).

Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy recently announced plans for exploratory drilling in the central offshore area of the Saharan coast, known as the Boudjour Block, accordng to news reports the companies intend to drill in 2014.

Emhamed Khadad, member of the Saharawi leadership said “This is a matter of law, morality and investment risk. The Investment risk is easiest to understand. The Saharawi Republic is open to ethical international business however exploiting the sovereign resources of the Saharawi people without their consent while we remain under an illegal occupation brings great uncertainty and the sure eventuality of future reparations (compensation) claims”.

Khadad added that “The immorality of the proposed exploration drilling is also apparent. Companies that seek to benefit themselves and their investors – however mislead or unknowing investors may be – do in a way that perpetuates an illegal occupation and in a manner that enriches the occupying state while fully half our people eke out a challenging existence in refugee camps while awaiting the right to self-determineation”.

Both Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy were reminded by the SADR Government that all means would be taken to end the development of natural resources in the occupied part of Western Sahara.

21 November 2013