The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara filed a complaint against Fugro Geoteam for failing to consult with the local Sahrawi inhabitants prior to, during, or after conducting seismic surveys off the coast of Western Sahara, which it did on behalf of US-based oil company Cosmos Energy.
The complaint also alleges the company repeatedly failed to respect the basic human rights and the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people.
The complainants claim Morocco does not have the right to conduct or permit petroleum exploration in Western Sahara. The UN considers Western Sahara a non-autonomous territory in which natural resources should be managed in accordance with international law. If such activity takes place, it must be in accordance with the needs and interests of the non-autonomous population.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
After an initial assessment, the Norwegian NCP accepted the complaint.
In response to the allegations, Fugro Geoteam stated in April 2010 that it had ceased operations in the area until the political situation is resolved and that all raw seismic data had been transferred to Cosmos Energy.
Fugro-Geoteams Dutch parent company, Fugro NV endorsed its subsidiarys statement and announced that it would terminate its involvement in Western Sahara.
The complainants welcomed Fugro Geoteams decision and withdrew the case. The Norwegian NCP will not issue a final statement.