Liberians over the weekend murmured over the latest information from the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the submission of another oil blocks to members of the House of Representatives.
The Liberian leader on October 7, 2015 submitted four undrilled offshore petroleum exploration blocks (LB-6, LB-7, LB-16 and LB-17) to the members of the House of Representatives for ratification.
But this document was read and discussed on the 13th and last day of sitting of the 5th Session of the Legislature, she said LB-6 and LB-7 were awarded to Kosmos Energy – an American international oil company that successfully discovered the Jubilee Oil fields in Ghana.
The President also told the lawmakers that LB-17 is awarded to A-Z Petroleum, a Nigerian Oil Company and Liberia Oil & Gas Company (a company wholly-owned by some Liberian citizens.)
“Accordingly, we are pleased to submit to you three PSCs for the remaining blocks made available during the Liberia Basin Bid Round 2014,” the President’s letter said.
She reminded the legislators that the bid round was transparent, competitive, achieved maximum benefits for Liberia, and in accordance with best international practices.
“The bid round was conducted with assistance of TGS NOPEC and EY (formerly Ernst and Young). The IMF provided advice on the financial model. TGS advised on the structuring of the bid round, assisted NOCAL with marketing and promotion to prospective bidders, and will supply the available seismic data in keeping with TGS’ arrangement with NOCAL,” the President wrote.
She added: “EY provided the following services: advice on the structuring of the bid round; assistance with the development of the fiscal model; received, reviewed and made recommendations to NOCAL with respect to pre-qualification submissions; received the bids (and) opened the bids in the presence of TGS and NOCAL; undertook evaluation of the quantitative and qualitative elements of the bids and made recommendations.
“The Hydrocarbon Technical Committee, established by the Petroleum Law, made determinations based on all facets of the process and reports received.”
The President told lawmakers that the ratification of the oil blocks would help generate revenue both for the central government and NOCAL.
“In view of the above, I urge your ratification of these Production Sharing Contracts, which hold benefits for the country,” the President added.
The President’s letter was, however, forwarded to a Joint Committee to be headed by the Oil and Gas Committee for scrutiny and (to) advise Plenary after resumption of work in January 2016.