New Democrat (Monrovia)

18 September 2009

Liberia: High Oil Prospects, More Bids Pour in

Authorities at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NACOL) say high oil prospects here, as reported in Liberian and Sierra Leone waters, have sparked off more interests in its third round of bids for five of the country's oil blocks stretching towards the eastern part of the country near Ivory Coast.

NACOL Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Fodee Kromah, told this paper Thursday that the pronouncement of oil find made by the world second largest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Limited and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the Liberian/ Sierra Leonean basin on Wednesday has risen a lot of interest in the country's oil exploration program. He said Liberia owns 2/3 about 66% of the acreage constituting that basin, where the oil has been discovered. He said this has raised the prospect of oil discovery here.

"We are on the verge of conducting a third bid round and we are getting calls from all over the place responding to the third bid," Dr. Kromah said. "We are very excited about this," he said.

The areas available for the NACOL third round of bid are blocks LB-1 to LB-5. He said in the exploration of oil the set of system geologists refer to as the cretaceous rock, which is an oil bearing rock is said to be found in the gulf of Guinea stretching from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Shares of companies that have discovered huge quantity of oil off the shores of Liberia and Sierra Leone waters rose sharply on Wednesday hours after announcing the discoveries, raising hopes of heavy infusion of capital into the economies of the two countries still licking their wounds deep in poverty.

Anadarko, which is one of the companies, an American own with link to Woodside the Australian Petroleum Company has 45% holding in three of the Liberian Oil Blocks, Blocks 17, 16 and 15 respectively and a 100% holding in Block 10.

Experts say it take US15 million to explore oil prospect in one well.

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