While Liberians are passionate about ensuring that the country and its people benefit from Liberia’s potential oil and gas resources, it is important that citizens be aware that such can only be possible when the Government grants licenses to international gas companies to explore for oil, the Director General of the Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA), Archie Donmoe, has said.
According to Donmoe, all institutional, regulatory and policy frameworks have been designed and as such it is only prudent that Liberia as a country begins to utilize the opportunity of licensing blocks for oil and gas exploration, something he said is imperative to making any commercial or geological discovery.
“When a country has 33 blocks encumbered and unlicensed as our case, the chances of finding oil is impossible. Our entire offshore acreage has predominantly been vacant for five years,” Donmoe said.
He made the statement in Monrovia on Monday at the start of a three-day Round Table Consultations on pre-bid round oil and gas regulations and strategies.
Donmoe indicated that in anticipation of the LPRA 2020 offshore licensing round, the entity felt it was important to share with relevant groups of stakeholders the regulatory strategy and the model production sharing contracts that have been designed by the LPRA as requirement under the New Petroleum Law.
The Government of Liberia, through the LPRA and the National Oil Company of Liberia, Donmoe emphasized, has taken tremendous steps towards rebuilding a vibrant and viable oil and gas program by improving governance, transparency, accountability and equity participation of all Liberians.
“These consultations demonstrate our willingness to operate in an inclusive, transparent and accountable manner as required by law,” the LPRA boss said.
He added: “Let me assure you that the LPRA will operate within the confines of the law and under the principle of expediency to promote Liberia’s undiscovered assets.
The three-day Round Table Consultations is being held ahead of the 2020 offshore Licensing round (bid round). A selected group of stakeholders, including CSOs, Business Entities, and International Organizations, will participate in the meeting.
Other participants, including Ministries, Agencies and Commissions as well as selected members of the National Legislature, will also form part of the three-day event where several presentations from experts on Regulation on pre-qualification requirements, Regulation on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership, Strategy on Liberians and Liberian Business Participation and Model Production Sharing Contracts will be delivered.
The LPRA was established as an independent regulatory government agency to Grant Petroleum Rights (Reconnaissance License, Petroleum Sharing Contracts and Petroleum Transportation License) and to Conduct Bid Rounds or Direct Negotiation for the issuance of Petroleum Rights.
The entity is also responsible to perform the core functions of monitoring petroleum operators and conducting such inspections, investigations and audits as required as well as issue regulations enforcing the provision of the NPRL or other regulatory responsibilities attached to petroleum operations.