FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

19 August 2014

Liberia: Open Basin - TGS Nopec Hails Liberia Oil Block Bid Rounds

Monrovia — With Liberia is battling the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, the National Oil Company of Liberia which earlier denied selling oil blocks have advertised four blocks in the Liberia oil basin. Following publications by some news outlets that NOCAL was negotiating the sale of additional oil blocks, the institution in a press release denied such negotiations.

In a statement issued August 11; NOCAL stated: "The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) says oil blocks now out for international competitive bidding are not being sold neither auctioned contrary to media reports".

NOCAL furthered "To suggest that the blocks are being sold, presupposes that Liberia looses ownership. That is not the case," NOCAL said in a statement, adding "the Liberian State owns the oil under the seabed." NOCAL further stated that it is instead holding a bid round for old acreage which includes LB-6, LB-7, LB-16, and LB-17, which were made available under earlier bid rounds held years ago under the 2002 Petroleum Act.

The oil company indicated that Production Sharing Contracts (PCSs) for LB-6 and LB-7 were awarded and negotiated but never fully executed. "In other words, no legally binding PSCs as in accordance with the Laws of Liberia for these two blocks were given," the company noted in the statement. Amid NOCAL's denial, TGS an international firm confirmed the advertisement by NOCAL for what it described as the company offering up four blocks in the Liberia Basin

"TGS confirmed its support of Liberian state-run oil firm NOCAL's latest international bid round. NOCAL is offering up four blocks in the Liberia Basin. The round opened on August 5 and will close on October 31" the firm stated.

TGS disclosed that the blocks included in the licensing round are comprised of four undrilled offshore petroleum exploration blocks over which TGS has comprehensive, high quality, data coverage constituting 2D on two of the blocks and 2D and 3D on the other two blocks. The international firms also stated that online data for Blocks LB-6, LB-7, LB-16, and LB-17 became available on August 7 and may be accessed as provided in clause 5.2 of the Bid Invitation Letter.

"Virtual and physical data rooms will be available to pre-qualified bidders from August 11. NOCAL will also be hosting Roadshows during this period and requests that companies register their interest by submitting the online form for further details", TGS disclosed.

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