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Morocco Energy and Mines Minister Abdelkader Amara

Morocco will drill 30 oil and gas wells this year, its energy minister said  Tuesday.

The country is also preparing a draft law on the mining industry to ease bureaucracy and attract more investments, Energy and Mines Minister Abdelkader Amara told Reuters.

“We are stepping up our searches. The more we drill, the more we get closer to the discoveries,” Amara told Reuters.

Since Moroccan independence in 1956, only 300 wells have been drilled.

Chevron, Cairn Energy and BP are among the companies holding permits from the Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM), Reuters said.

BP said this week it is sharing three offshore blocks with Kosmos Energy. Drilling will begin later this year, BP said.

Cairn Energy told Reuters it has began drilling at its second well off the Moroccan coast.

Chevron said in January it acquired three offshore blocks.