By State House Communications Unit
American multinational energy cooperation, Chevron Wednesday 24th June 2015 announced its desire to explore the oil potentials of Sierra Leone. Chevron’s aspiration to invest in the country’s oil industry was unveiled by the American Ambassador to Sierra Leone, John Hoover at a meeting with the Director General of Petroleum Directorate, Raymond Kargbo at his Hill Station office in Freetown.
Mr. Kargbo said Chevron has acquired Block BFl8A and Block FL8B with commitment in investing in cooperate social responsibility, and the company was in the country to get government’s approval. He said the directorate looked at the short, medium and long term goals of Chevron’s operations following a successful geological exploration.
While sourcing areas of further collaboration with Chevron, Mr. Kargbo expressed the need for closer partnership with US corporate interests through the intervention of more US investments, and highlighted challenges faced by the industry. He said the directorate was ready to package data and market them to US corporate interests.
“We operate with a high level of transparency and accountability. We know that with transparency and accountability we can build greater trust,” assured Mr. Kargbo, and added that they are now turning attention to on-shore and shallow waters petroleum potentials in the country.
According to the Director-General of Petroleum Directorate, the capital expenditure of Chevron can go over the roof when they are on exploration and informed Ambassador Hoover that the directorate is working on the legal framework that would harmonize relationship with other government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the private sector.
Mr. Kargbo also disclosed that a team from the directorate Wednesday 24th June departed Freetown for the United Kingdom to meet with a UK consultancy on the designing of an appropriate legal framework. He noted that the directorate would be looking into the areas of best practice, audit and data management, as they need to manage data, package them and do aggressive marketing to attract investors.
U.S. Ambassador John Hoover expressed delight at the leadership of the Petroleum Directorate and registered the commitment and determination of US private sector to invest in the industry, hoping to continue having strong relationship with government.
Ambassador Hoover observed that oil and gas can fuel the economic growth and sustainable development of the country as well as be one of the top properties of government. “We can help with data management and work with you to attract US companies and capital. My pledge is to do my best and my commitment is to help with US investments,” he vowed.
The US ambassador recalled that Chevron pulled out initially because of low commercial viability but they spoke highly of the directorate, which has the challenge to stimulate findings of the ‘elephant’ type that would attract big time petroleum companies like Chevron.
“We would work with you to meet the expectations of the people to avoid the situation that happened in Uganda as they were doing their petroleum exploration, when expectations ran far ahead of reality. We would work with you to “meet such expectations,” Ambassador Hoover reiterated.