25 July 2014

Liberia: Oil Company of Liberia Holds Secret Session With Legislature

Monrovia — Days after protesters stormed the Capitol Building against alleged plans by government to sell new oil blocks in Liberia, officials of the National Oil Company (NOCAL), Thursday held a closed door meeting with Lawmakers of the Lower House (House of Representatives) to accordingly discuss issues surrounding the country oil sector.

The over three-hour meeting, according to an inside source was to discuss issues relating to the relinquishing of two of the four oil blocks operated by Anadarko and how to begin negotiation on the oil blocks. But speaker Alex Tyler in a brief interview with reporters claimed not to have knowledge about such information.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is an independent exploration and the Company operated four blocks in offshore Liberia. Speaker Tyler said, the meeting with NOCAL was to discuss a work plan, which he said he could not say in detail what is in the work plan but promised to do so as soon as possible.

Speaker Tyler said: "NOCAL presented a work plan and we are studying it. I normally don't discuss things that I have not thoroughly understood a presentation was made by the executive now I must read the documents to make sense of it."

The House speaker promised that the decisions by the legislature to reform the country oil sector will go as planned and if there is any new development of the country's oil sector, that development will be disclosed to the public at the appropriate time.

There has been speculations about plans by the government of Liberia through the National Legislature to sell new oil blocks, despite calls by Liberians asking that all other untouched oil blocks be reserved for future generations.

On Tuesday a group of Liberians under the banner concerned Liberians gathered at the capitol building (official seat of the Legislature) to protest against news of a possible selling of new oil blocks with an accusation that the lawmakers received huge sums of money to seal the deal.

Tuesday protest prompted a quick response from the Pro-Tempore of the Liberian senate who accused businessman Benoni Urey of sponsoring the protesting group to cause instability.


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