The New Dawn (Monrovia)

9 January 2013

Liberia: Firm Begins Estimated 840 Million Barrels Oil Drill

Photo: Tullow Oil
Offshore drilling.

The Australian firm, African Petroleum announced Tuesday that it has started tapping into oil deposits situated off the coast of Liberia, the UPI reported Tuesday.

The firm said it had started drilling its Bee Eater-1 well offshore Liberia, about 6 miles from what the it says was a proven high-quality reservoir.

The mean recoverable resources for the Bee Eater area are estimated by the company at more than 840 million barrels of oil.

Africa Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Karl Thompson was quoted to have said that there are plans for a "very active exploration program" here for 2013.

A second well is planned in the offshore region once drillers complete the Bee Eater-1 well.

Several potential well locations under construction depend on results of the latest drilling, the company said.

But the news come at the there are still lingering controversies over transparency within the local oil sector. Issues regarding the review of past contracts are still pending before the National Legislature, amid uncertainties over the use of the oil resources.

Liberia is recovering politically and economically from years of civil war. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in a speech sponsored by Chevron in April in Houston, said Liberia was encouraging investments in the oil and natural gas sector. The Liberian government said more than $16 billion was invested in natural resources such as oil in the past six years.

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