In its June 13, 2008, issue, the London-based Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported that Abu Dhabi's $10-billion oil and gas fund IPIC has approved a plan to build a $5 billion refinery in Jorf Lasfar on Morocco's west coast.
The refinery would supply refined products to the domestic market but at press time the source of the crude for the facility was uncertain, according to MEED. A Dow Jones article describing the MEED report stated that WoodMackenzie was working on a feasibility study for the refinery, which is expected to begin production in 2013.
The MEED report also said that IPIC seeks to add an international partner to the project. U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) was named as one potential candidate. In fact, Oxy announced in March 2008 that it had signed an agreement with IPIC for the companies to jointly evaluate and participate in the development of both upstream and downstream projects both within and outside the Middle East region. In that same announcement, Oxy's chairman and CEO, Ray Irani, said that the deal with IPIC would allow Oxy to boost its presence in the Middle East/North Africa region. A Morocco refinery would certainly contribute to that objective.