Written by Our Senior Staff
Monday, 21 January 2013 01:43
When Liberians who are ‘green’ to the intricacies and complications in understanding oil industry leap to hook on to anxieties and expectations that their lives are about to jump to prosperity, those claiming to be oil experts seem to have a greater share in what appears to suitably be developing into an oil fuss in Liberia’s emerging energy sector.
In February 2012, the first oil company to break the news of discovering oil in its process of exploration in Liberia’s offshore block has been the African Petroleum. AP said at the time that further test was needed to prove whether the oil discovered would be quantifiable for commercial purposes.
The discovery which the Liberian Government through the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) publicized was persistently clarified that no oil of commercial quantity has been discovered in Liberia during the period of exploration in the sector.
Eleven months later (January 2013) AP appeared in the media based on public information it gave regarding progress it has made in the process of exploration, against which background the media reported that 840m barrels of oil for the Narina/ Bee Eater reservoir system have been discovered in Block LB-09.
However, comments from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) seemingly questioned the validation of the media report on what AP has revealed.
The insinuation of NOCAL’s comments on the 840m barrels of oil reported by the media suggested an exaggeration of what AP might have disclosed but at the same time, the suspicion of the public appeared to have grown that those considered experts in the energy sector have something to hide to mislead the public about what is actually unfolding in the emerging energy sector.
A compelling damaged control to save face took place last Friday when NOCAL and AP issued a joint statement on what was developing into a fuss, giving the manner in which both entities have earlier chosen to handle the news on the oil exploration.
“ NOCAL and African Petroleum would like to clarify that un-risked prospective resources shall be interpreted as possible resources which need to be confirmed by further technical work and additional drilling and not be considered as proven reserves of oil ready to be produced as was reported recently in the press,” the joint statement noted.
According to the statement, only further drilling can demonstrate whether “ resources” can move to the “ reserve” category and how much commercial quantities will be available for production.
The statement noted that African Petroleum announced the commencement of the drilling of the Bee Eater-1 will in Block LB-09 offshore Liberia with semi-submersible ocean rig, the EirikeRaqude and that the Bee Eater-1 will test the potential of a westerly extension of the Narina- Turonian oil discovery.
Of recent, House Speaker Alex Tyler disclosed that the 53rd National Legislature in 2012 decided to take a review of the oil sector due to a level of discrepancy discovered in the function of NOCAL contrary to its mandate.
There have been concerns emanating from critics that too much power influenced by the Executive Branch of government has been given to NOCAL to handle affairs related to the oil sector.
Over the year (2012), attempts at the National Legislature to ensure a proper reform at NOCAL has been controversial, yet advocacies continue for the reform; writes Lewis K. Glay0886469835firstname.lastname@example.org