Morocco’s stalled and so far unsuccessful deepwater exploration got a shot in the arm with the 7 February entry of state firm Qatar Petroleum (QP). The latter took 30% of three large deepwater permits – Cap Walida Deep, Cap Cantin Deep and Cap Rhir Deep – from operator Chevron, reducing the US major’s share to 45%. Moroccan state Onhym retains 25%.

Chevron signed up to explore the three virgin blocks in early 2013 (MEES, 1 February 2013). It undertook 2D seismic in...