Written by Nat Nyuan Bayjay Source: FrontPage Africa
Following last week’s announcement by the Government of Liberia that it has entered into an agreement with the Chevron Corporation to explore three deepwater concessions in Liberian waters, the National Legislature has finally ratified the deal that will see the crude oil and natural gas American giant company conducting oil exploration in the country.
The ratification of the agreement, earlier approved by the Executive Mansion and submitted to the Legislature for consideration and ratification, now means that a three-year exploratory program will be conducted by Chevron with the fourth quarter of this year being the targeted period.
The scarcity of energy in the post-war nation is said to be impeding economic growth in the midst of the limited or no major public electricity, making the ratification of the deal significant to the war-torn nation’s recovery process.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during the signing ceremony had said: “We are delighted to welcome Chevron as a partner for Liberia to explore our oil and gas assets. Along with its investment, Chevron will bring the latest technologies, best practices in transparency and efficiencies, and an excellent record of community and social responsibility.”
Chevron is one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, the company is engaged in every aspect of the crude oil and natural gas industry, including exploration and production, manufacturing, marketing and transportation, chemicals manufacturing and sales, geothermal energy, and power generation. Its recent investment includes renewable energies and advanced technologies.
Its entry into Liberia is believed to be one that consolidates a growing trend of major international investment projects in the country’s strategic sectors, adding to the list of Liberia’s other business partners, including ArcelorMittal, Firestone, BHP Billiton, Sime Darby, Anadarko Petroleum, China Union, and, most recently, a US$1.6 billion agreement with Golden Veroleum that was also ratified two days ago by the National Legislature.
Observers are of the view that the sealing of the Chevron deal will provide real economic opportunities for desperately-unemployed Liberian populace.
Chevron which traces its earliest roots to an 1879 oil discovery at Pico Canyon, north of Los Angeles, California, later became Standard Oil Company of California. It subsequently took on the name “Chevron” when it acquired Gulf Oil Corporation in 1984, nearly doubling its worldwide proved oil and gas reserves. Merger with Gulf at the time was the largest in U.S. history.