International conference on gas, oil in marrakesh
Regional-Morocco, Economics, 5/28/2003
An international conference on gas and oil opened in Marrakesh Monday to debate hydrocarbons situation in the Mediterranean basin.
The conference, dubbed Maghreb and Mediterranean Oil and Gas 2003, is held in presence of eminent experts and heads of oil companies from the Mediterranean and other regions.
Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Amina Benkhadra, head of the Moroccan Oil Company (ONAREP), deplored that the south Mediterranean region consumes only 1.5 percent of the world energy, while it produces 5 percent of world hydrocarbon and 45 and 20 percent of Mediterranean trade of gas and oil respectively.
The north Mediterranean countries, on the other hand, consume 10 percent of hydrocarbons, while they produce only 0.5 percent of these resources, she said.
The need for a partnership between the European Union and south Mediterranean countries -as stressed at the Barcelona conference, goes through upgrading these nations' economies, insisted Benkhadra, adding extension of oil exploration and production is key to ensuring energy security in the Mediterranean.
The official surveyed Morocco's efforts to liberalize its energy sector, noting, in this connection, that oil distribution and refining were totally privatized, while the liberalization of oil products prices entered into force last July to become total in 2010.
The three-day conference is sponsored by the international company Global Pacific Partners.
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