The President of NOCAL Dr. Randolph McClain told reporters yesterday (March 7, 2013) that after lengthy period of controversy and tense negotiation, the Hydrocarbon Technical Committee Negotiating Team has presented a contract between the Government and the Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) and ExxonMobile for offshore Block 13 (LB-13).
The contract includes "unprecedented benefits" for the country and its people McClain divulged. "A frontier country, Liberia will receive an upfront payment through a signature bonus, taxes and fees of US$50 million," McClain disclosed.
The NOCAL Boss said they presented the contract to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for signing into hand bill for onward ratification by the National Legislature.
The contract, he explained, will provide other long-term financial benefits, strong social and environmental protections, as well as provisions to promote local content and job creation in Liberia.
"In many respect, this contract is different from, and better than the previous, moving us closer to realizing our ambition of new model agreements which is fair to the investor and beneficial to the country and our people, McCain continued. "Especially in this regard, this contract is superior to the original contract and addresses many of the concerns around LB-13 in particular and the oil sector in general, ending two years of uncertainty over the future of LB-13."
In reviewing the term of the contract, McClain said beginning with all of the financial provisions of the contract, the US$50 million will be received immediately upon ratification and printing into hand bills. It will include a US$21.25 Million signature bonus, something he said is the highest Liberian oil block signature bonus yet and the largest ever upfront payouts to a non-producing country in the world.
"The negotiating team of the government has also secured a 5% Citizens Participation Share in LB-13. Simply put, if exploration and development in LB-13 are successful, revenues would be available to share with citizens. This will be at no cost to the citizens, NOCAL or the Government of Liberia, after production costs, the share could generate dividends to the citizens from the oil production," stated McClain.