A joint press release from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and African Petroleum (AP) has indicated that there has always been a harmonious and cordial working relationship between the two entities since oil blocks were awarded, adding that they have aligned objectives.
According to the press statement dated 18 January, 2013, African Petroleum officially announced the commencement of the drilling of the Bee Eater - 1 well in Block LVB-09 offshore Liberia with semi-submersible ocean rig, the Eirik Raude, which is meant to test the potential of a westerly extension of the Narina - 1 Turonian oil discovery.
'If the test is successful, the Bee Eater well could demonstrate the presence of a large hydrocarbon reservoir system. A range of possible volumes of oil that could be recovered from this reservoir has been estimated from analysis of regional geological and engineering data. The estimated range is an average volume of 840 MMstb (million stock tank barrels) of oil for the Narina / Bee Eater reservoir system in Block LB-09', the release stated.
The joint statement further revealed that ERC EEquipoise has provided a recent update on the prospective resources for Liberia Blocks LB-08 and LB-09, which is available on the African Petroleum website (www.africanpetroleum.com.au).
NOCAL and African Petroleum jointly clarified that "un-risked prospective resources" shall be be intercepted as possible resources which need to be confirmed by further technical work and additional drilling, and shall not be considered as "proven reserves of oil" ready to be produced as was reported recently in the press.
Only further drilling can demonstrate whether "resources" can move to the "reserve" category and how much commercial quantities will be available for production.
In addition, the release stated that the current drilling campaign is aimed at confirming the nature of the geology and of the reservoir, including its size and quality so that further drilling and technical programmes can be developed. The shape of the programme, the number of possible appraisal wells will be dependent on the outcome of the Bee Eater - 1 well.
In conclusion, both companies would like to reiterate the fact that oil and gas exploration drilling, appraisal, development, production and decommissioning. The cycle from an initial discovery to production typically takes 5 to 7 years.