April 05, 2020

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LPRA and NOCAL approve Transfer Plan for the Upstream Petroleum Sector

LPRA and NOCAL approve Transition Plan for the Upstream Petroleum Sector

Monrovia, Liberia. The Government of Liberia, through the Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA) and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has taken tremendous steps toward rebuilding a vibrant and viable oil and gas program by improving governance, transparency, accountability and equity participation of all Liberians. In keeping with Section 78 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Reform Act, 2014, the Government wishes to inform the public and its international partners that the Transfer Plan, referred to and required in the Petroleum Law, has been completed.

This signals two major milestones: 1) the full transfer of all regulatory functions from NOCAL to LPRA allowing NOCAL to focus on improving the commercial capabilities and promoting the government’s interest and citizen participation and 2) this allows for LPRA to immediately commence key activities leading to the bid activities of offshore acreages.

The President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George M. Weah, Sr. challenged the CEO of NOCAL and the Director-General of LPRA to engage with international oil companies and other global partners in building an economically successful and sustainable oil and gas sector, one that will maximize government take, ensure environmental sustainability, and equitable participation of all Liberians. The President further stressed that, “while the country is in desperate and dire needs to discover commercially viable quantity of oil, we must not lose sight of the attending consequences that could evolve when the right policies, regulations and laws are not developed or adhered to.” He finally cautioned the two entities, particularly NOCAL, to promote Liberian businesses and design a program towards improving capacities, building capabilities and managing expectation, which is in accordance to Article 7 of the NOCAL Act of 2016.

For his part, the Director General of LPRA expressed profound gratitude to the President, the CEO of NOCAL, and the Minister of State for the level of support and collaboration during the negotiation of the transfer plan which sets key objectives for the next steps in the context of reestablishing concrete programs and making the Liberia basin attractive to the global petroleum market.  In her response, the CEO of NOCAL extended appreciation to the President for his confidence and provided assurance of NOCAL’s commitment to expanding the government commercial interest within its potential oil and gas resources as the short-term objective.  NOCAL’s long term goals, she asserted, is to build a world class, top-notched oil and gas company with immense and competitive regional presence.

Liberia oil and gas program predates 1970s with considerable effort put into exploration programs. To date, there has been discovery of a working petroleum system less the presence of a commercially viable reservoir. The new focus will target this objective of locating any known reserve and exploit it for the benefits of all Liberians including unborn generation.

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