Eni this week expanded in Morocco, taking a 75% operator’s stake in the 23,900km² Tarfaya Offshore Shallow permits off the south of the country. State firm Onhym retains 25%. Water depths are zero to 1,000ms (the deeper portion is more prospective making ‘shallow’ something of a misnomer).

This marks a further major vote of confidence in the global deepwater in general and North Africa’s ‘Atlantic Margin’ in particular. ExxonMobil signed up for three...