Liberia Awards Exploration Blocks

The National Oil Company of Liberia has awarded two international oil companies exploration rights from its most recent offshore bidding round. Repsol of Spain and Oranto of Nigeria were awarded the rights to conduct 3D exploration in the West African country's blocks 17 and 12, respectively, said Musah Dean, the company's president and chief executive. "The contracts each have exploration periods to be conducted over a 10-year timeframe. The contracts also guarantee funds for training of Liberia nationals as well as funds for welfare projects," he said.

A peace deal last August ended 14 years of intermittent war in Liberia and sent former president Charles Taylor into exile. A transitional government is tasked with putting the country on a path to stability and prosperity and preparing elections.

Dean told reporters that from March to October this year, oil firms interested in acquiring other offshore blocks would be required to buy a portion of 3D data, analyze it and submit it to the National Oil Co.