Liberia: National Oil Company of Liberia Signs Multi-Year Data Management Partnership

Monrovia — The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has signed a four year multi-year oil well Data management agreement with Core Laboratories Sales BV, an Oil Industry Service Giant.

The agreement is the first major initiative by a major sector player in three (3) years and it will see the management value addition and re-organization of Oil Well Data collected by oil companies that operated in Liberia since the 1970s.

The signing ceremony took place on Thursday, August 1 at NOCAL's head office on Randall Street, and was witnessed by agency principals.

Speaking at the signing ceremony NOCAL Chief Executive Officer, Atty. Saifuah-Mai Gray said the agreement ushers in a new era in the sector that has been dormant for the past three years.

"A key mandate of the NOCAL ACT involves the management of data which represents a major income stream for NOCAL," Gray said.

"When I took over the company, Well Data Sales was poor to non-existent; coupled with the absence of operators in the basin. The need to be innovative with what we have available is very paramount."

According to records, 17 wells have been drilled by oil companies since the 1970s, and companies have collected huge amounts of geological, geophysical, geochemical and operational data.

"This large amount of information belongs to Liberia by law and in principle, NOCAL should be the go-to technical expert on all aspects concerning our basins," the NOCAL bass said.

"We believe that with the consummation of this agreement with Core Laboratories Sales Bv, we will be able to conduct a full quality inventory of all our well data going back to the start. We need to have all our legacy data in our possession."

According to Ms. Gray, data in its raw form exists either as physical samples and reports or as soft copy of files and numbers that must be synthesized into information that will guide companies' decisions on where to drill to ultimately find oil & gas.

She said the agreement will also enable the NOCAL to increase the value of its data by applying new methods to study key elements involved in the successful discovery of oil.

"Regionally it has been proven that oil was generated from source rocks that are both good quality and is prevalent throughout."

The Project dubbed 'the REGIONAL RESERVOIR AND SEAL STUDY OF THE BASINS OF LIBERIA,' in essence will help NOCAL and oil companies with licenses to the study and data to further understand the location and type of reservoirs that are good as well as the nature of the seals.

"This is monumental because it will further help us solve the oil story in Liberia in a massive way. Ultimately, NOCAL will receive revenue inflows because this is valuable information that companies will pay for.

"NOCAL and Core Lab will work together to market this study to as many companies that are interested. It must also be noted that this information is not just important to Liberia, but companies in similar regions including West Africa and the conjugate margins of South America. This move could see NOCAL increase the sales of well data over the next few years. "It is essential for us to have a very rich data package especially for our much-anticipated bid rounds", Atty. Gray added.

Core Lab is a company registered in the Netherlands with major operations in London and Houston. Core Labs is a leading consultant and data interpreter used by oil companies worldwide.

They offer Reservoir optimization, services via many of its high tech and leading-edge labs across the world.

By working with a partner like Core Labs, NOCAL wishes to expose its technical organization and people to world-class methodologies and workflows that are key to adding value and interpreting well data for years to come.

As part of the contract, Core Lab will train NOCAL staff in the United Kingdom in Geological, petrophysical and, data Management aspects of the project. Such knowledge will add valuable skills to our team as we grow into a regional player in the sector.

"Our goal is that if you pair NOCAL geoscientists or engineer with those of supermajors in their class, they would be just as good or better. The transfer of skillsets will achieve that," she said.

Core Labs Vice President of Integrated Reservoir solution, speaking to FrontPageAfrica said, that they are excited to be in Liberia and are looking towards a viable and beneficial collaborative partnership.

He considers the agreement a collaborative venture that will add value to a greater understanding of reservoir systems in Liberia whilst adding to technical capacities within NOCAL.

In March of 2019, NOCAL conducted a transparent bid Round process that saw major oil service industries such as Core Labs, Geotech, Schlumberger, and TGS as participants.

Also involved in keeping the process transparent were representatives from NIC (National Investment commission) and MME (Ministry of Mines and Energy).

"We wanted a transparent process. Many world-class players who invest in Liberia will want to know whether the process of selecting bid winners is a fair and clear process. We were clear about what we wanted to achieve from the soliciting companies, and we were also transparent in the process of reaching the winner.

The NOCAL CEO further added, "It is important to know that NOCAL does not have the technology and may not be expert in certain domains. Such partner allows us to be efficient first in the fact that we don't have to spend money upfront and secondly the time it will take to achieve this on our own is very long.

The Chief Executive said such relationships and approach to business is a key strategy for NOCAL to quickly rise to the top.

Experts welcome this move stating that this signals the fact that companies are starting to show interest in Liberia again. One industry insider also noted that it is also a good move for NOCAL, a company once plagued by bankruptcy and the departure of companies from the basin.

This agreement could really improve the financial conditions of NOCAL as well as aligned with World Class partners for the purpose of knowledge and technology exchange.

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