In late October, the Moroccan Association of Petroleum Geologists (MAPG), in association with AAPG and other industry associations, held the first MAPG International Convention Conference & Exhibition in Marrakech, Morocco.
“Revisit the Rocks; Realize the Potential” attracted more than 600 delegates (from 44 countries) interested in Pangean geology and in recent exploration and production activities in northwest Africa.
Al Moundir Morabet, the conference general chair, said he was extremely pleased by the international participation in the conference – 30 exhibitors, 328 abstracts presented in 50 different oral sessions, 144 posters and six field trips – especially given that MAPG, as an organization, is only 10 years old.
“The conference,” said Morabet, an AAPG member and general director of Tamouda Consulting (SARL), “was a photocopy of AAPG. We tried to bring the international industry and academic geoscience community to Morocco.”
He acknowledged that AAPG was instrumental in promoting the conference, as were ONHYM, Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining, the International Lithosphere Programme and the Colloque du Jurassique Marocain.
Morabet said the conference allowed African and Moroccan geoscientists to present their ideas to their international peers.
“The conference was important to Africans,” he said, “because African academic geoscientists don’t often travel to international scientific conferences due to visas and travel costs.”
MAPG described the conference theme by aptly quoting legendary geologist, the late Parke A. Dickey: “We usually find oil in new places with old ideas. Sometimes, also, we find oil in old places with a new idea. But, we seldom find oil in an old place with an old idea.”
“The recent discoveries show that the petroleum system is working,” Morabet said, pointing to recent multiple significant discoveries in offshore northwest Africa. “We have to revisit the rocks with new ideas and new technologies developed on the other side of the world.
“We’re using Nova Scotian discoveries and analogs to promote our plays,” he added.
Morabet cited attractive fiscal terms,direct negotiations and a 10-year corporate tax holiday as compelling reasons for the international oil and gas industry to explore offshore Morocco. According to Morabet, Morocco may also have the largest onshore reserves of oil shales in the world – more than 100 billion tons, with TOCs on the order of 10-11 percent.
Asked if Morabet and his associates from Morocco will be attending the upcoming conference in Nova Scotia, he answered: “You bet.”