Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Unrest hits 'Kasbah' tourist spots

Political unrest is causing British holidaymakers to switch away from the "Costa del Kasbah" destinations of Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, it has been revealed.
Instead, UK tourists are taking more trips to traditional favourites such as France, Italy and Spain, according to an analysis of nearly five million holidays by the Co-operative Travel company.
Bookings are 30% down to Egypt, 16% down to Tunisia and 11% down to Turkey, while Morocco, where bookings started the year strongly, has seen a 53% dip in recent weeks.

In contrast, France is up 31%, Italy up 15%, Spain has risen by 11% and Portugal is up 7%.

Co-operative Travel said cost as well as security concerns were a factor in choice of destination for Britons.

The company's managing director Mike Greenacre said: "The cost factor is best highlighted by the numbers of people switching between Turkey and Greece.

"Turkey hasn't experienced the problems faced by the other METT (Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey) destinations, but seems to be suffering because people are comparing average prices to Greece, which is seen as offering a very similar type of holiday."

He went on: "In recent weeks we've seen prices tumble for certain destinations as operators look to fill excess capacity. For example, people booking now for a summer holiday in Turkey are paying an average of £567 per person, which is 12% less than earlier in the season. This is a huge saving; a reduction of £312 for a family of four."

Longreach raises Morocco game

Canadian-listed junior Longreach Oil & Gas has expanded its acreage in Morocco with a farm-in deal that gives it operatorship of the onshore Sidi Moktar development licence.
The company said the agreement with Maghreb Petroleum Exploration (MPE) will give it a 50% operated stake in Sidi Moktar, located in the Essouaria basin in central Morocco, as well as operatorship of three additional exploration licences.
Longreach now intends to launch a share offering in Canada aimed at raising C$25 million ($25.6 million) to finance an exploration campaign on the permit consisting of up to five wells, as well as further develop its other assets in the North Africa country.
Chief executive Bryan Benitz said the acquisition has the potential to be “transformational” for the company.
The prospective Sidi Moktar licences have so far produced 30.5 billion cubic feet of gas, according to the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons & Mining (ONHYM).
An independent resources study by Calgary-based AJM Petoleum Consultants made a best-case gas in-place estimate of 776 Bcf for five existing fields within Sidi Moktar.
The licence surrounds the existing producing Meskala field, currently pumping out 3.5 million cubic feet per day, with gas pipeline infrastructure in place that runs through the permit area.
Tie-in to this pipeline is believed to be feasible, with gas expected to be piped to the town of Youssoufia, where major phosphate plants exist with unmet natural gas demand.
The Kechoula field located in the Sidi Moktar licence, which is currently shut-in, was discovered in 1957 and has produced 19 Bcf of gas from the Jurassic formation.
Under the farm-in deal, Longreach will fully fund MPE’s commitment programme, which includes shooting of 100 square kilometres of 3D seismic and the subsequent drilling of two wells on the Zag and Tarfaya licences within the main permit area.
Another exploration well is also targeted on either of the Sidi Moussa or Foum Draa licences, subject to available funding.
Longreach currently has interests in four exploration licences in southern onshore and offshore Morocco, covering 11.8 million acres.
The country is experiencing a nascent rebirth of its upstream sector with a favourable fiscal regime luring back foreign explorers, including Repsol, San Leon Energy, Circle Oil and EnCore Oil, to tap its undiscovered potential after a long exploration hiatus.
ONHYM has identified shale gas potential and is making a concerted effort to develop the country’s huge shale oil reserves.

Pictures and videos of beautiful Morocco on Sunday 29th May

Moroccan youth are demonstrating for better life and democracy, and it is looking that the people ruling Morocco not happy with their demands. Below the pictures show Morocco is no different than any other Arab or backward countries and is a way behind in respecting basic human rights.

Sticks to the suppression of the peaceful March in Casablanca

Map of constitutional reform on the bodies of Moroccans!!