By Alva M. Wolokolie
Chevron Liberia Limited has officially opened its first hydrocarbon laydown yard, a storage facility that would be used towards exploring for hydrocarbons offshore.
The ceremony took place on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in the Port City of Buchannan, Grand Bassa with several cabinet ministers, National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) President Dr. Randolph McClain, the Superintendent of Bassa Etweda Cooper, Justice Minister Christina Tah, President Pro-Temp Senator Gbehzohngar Findley, and Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo among others.
Chevron got approval from the Government of Liberia in September 2010 to acquire interests in three deep water blocks. The oil company is the operator of blocks, LB-11, LB-12 and LB-14. The three blocks are between 12 and 110 miles (20 to180km) south of Monrovia offshore Buchannan and cover an area of about 2 million acres (8,100 sq km).
Delivering his welcome remarks and introduction at the program, Chevron Liberia Country Manager Mr. Karl Cottrell briefly recalled that in March 2011, Chevron Liberia committed to NOCAL that it would establish a Chevron Laydown yard in Buchannan.
After the commitment, the company began working with one of its service partners, UMARCO to determine how it could deliver on the commitment made to NOCAL.
Mr. Cottrell told the audience that UMARCO started the construction on the site in 2012, but due to heavy rains, the construction was halted until the dry season when UMARCO and its subcontractors completed the yard.
Before the completion of the civil work, Chevron began the mobilization of the pipe and equipment and shipped them from Houston, Texas, USA and its yard in Takoradi, Ghana.
The laydown yard will allow Chevron to mobilize the equipment and from the drill ship, thus reducing the transit time to the rig.
Chevron Country’s Manager explained that his company has a vested interest in the safe development of Liberia’s energy resources and is providing an economic boost in Buchanan.
“We are proud to say that the company is leading the way in the establishment of the key infrastructure for the industry while partnering with critical stakeholders to make meaningful changes to the lives of the individuals that we have the opportunity to touch,” Cottrell averred.
Lands, Mines, and Energy Minister Patrick Sandolo described the opening of the yard as a concert steps that all stakeholders have been talking about.
NOCAL President Dr. Randolph McClain indicated that the commissioning of the yard is a win-win situation for both Chevron and Liberia because local employment will be provided with an improvement of the economy.
“Liberia oil and gas sector is becoming to be a growth for the transformation of the country,” McClain said.
For his part, Senate Pro-tempore, Gbehzohngar M. Findley, lauded the initiative and recommended that the government should develop a program that would enhance the capacity of Liberian to participate in the process.
The Grand Bassa County Senator expressed the optimism that in the next few years, Chevron should have been able to discover commercial oil so that the local content of the oil and gas industry will impact the lives of the Liberian people.