The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has provided clarification on the current bidding process for the four oil blocks, including blocks LB-17, LB-7, LB-6 and LB-16.
Addressing the regular Information Ministry press conference, the president of NOCAL, Dr. Randolph A. K. W. McClain, said there are five objectives for bid round. The objectives are revenues, transparency, local content, legitimacy and development.
Under revenue, Dr. McClain, said the goal is to generate income for Liberia in a time of crisis and bring exploration investment into empty acreage, for development.
He said they also planned that under local content, local Liberian exploration capacity would be developed; and they intend to run a “world class process” under transparency.
Dr. McClain clarified that NOCAL was not selling any of the oil blocks but rather leasing them for various number of years depending on the contract arrangements.
The NOCAL boss disclosed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had submitted to the National Legislature LB-16 for ratification of a Production Sharing Contract.
He further disclosed that three companies, Liberty Petroleum Corporation, an international oil company from the USA has (90% share), Pillar Oil Limited, an oil exploration and production company from Nigeria (5% share) and New Millennium Corporation, an entity owned by some private Liberian-citizens 5% share.
According to the NOCAL boss, the big objective of this bid round was to get Liberian companies involved in the oil sector as partners in exploration.
“That is why there was a built-in incentive for bidding groups to include Liberian companies, He continued. NOCAL is very happy that the LB-16 bid includes New Millennium Corporation (NMC). If the contract is ratified, NMC will be a partner in the exploration of the block, holding a 5% equity share that means that we are starting to have Liberian companies participating in our upstream (exploration) sector.”
He also stated that Liberia retains 15%, ‘carried,’ which begin at commercial production. Then shares of the three companies would reduce proportionally to accommodate the state.
Dr. McClain assured the public that NOCAL will continue to review the bids for the other blocks and make its determination based on advice from independent consultant Ernst & Young and protect the interest of the people of Liberia
He added, “The process will continue to be transparent and seek the maximum benefit for Liberia and Liberians as well. We are doing all to ensure that it is in the best interest of all the citizens.”
According to him, in keeping with law the PSC has been duly signed by the Executive and submitted to the Legislature for ratification of the bids for the other three blocks in the bid round LB-17, LB-7, LB-6 and are currently being evaluated.
On the issue of Local Content, NOCAL believes Local Content will help strengthen existing linkages with businesses operating in Liberia outside the upstream of E&P sector and generate the opportunity for skills development in the country, said Dr. McClain.