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Third Liberian Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round 2009

Liberia's Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) (www.molme.gov.lr) and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) (www.nocal-lr.com) announced the opening of their Third Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round on 27 August 2009. Five of Liberia's open blocks, LR-01, LR-02, LR-03, LR-04 and LR-05, are available for bid in the round which will run from 1 September 2009 until 30 November 2009. The bid opening ceremony will follow on 1 December 2009.

2D seismic data and shallow water logs, covering the blocks on offer, are available from TGS NOPEC offices in London and Houston. The purchase of data packages is a pre-requisite for companies looking to successfully bid for the licences, as is a non-refundable application fee of USD30,000.

The blocks on offer are located offshore, approximately 300 kilometres south-west of the Liberian capital of Monrovia, and reach water depths of up to 3,500 metres. These five blocks are the only remaining open blocks in Liberia, the rest of which have been licensed in previous rounds.

Liberia sits between Sierra Leone, to the north-west, and Côte d'Ivoire, to the south-east. Liberia's offshore coastal region incorporates two main basins; the Sierra Leone-Liberia Basin spans most of offshore Liberia to the west, and the remaining offshore coast to the east falls within the Côte d'Ivoire's Ivoirian Basin. The blocks on offer span both of these basins.

The discovery of the Jubilee field in Ghana, and more recently the positive results from Sierra Leone's first deep water well in the Sierra Leone-Liberia Basin, has rapidly opened up this region as a significant prospective play. Liberia's Third Bid Round seems to have come at the right time as interest in this frontier region continues to grow.

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Map: Liberia's offshore petroleum acreage highlighting the blocks on offer in the Third Licensing Round. Source: PetroView®

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