Liberia Maritime Authority Stresses Safety

"Oil Rush" fever has hit the shores of Liberia! The presence of a 40,000 ton Maersk Deliverer semi-submersible deep water oil rig thirty miles of the Coast of Sinoe County symbolizes is the realization. On Tuesday, August 16, the Safety Inspectors from the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) took a 45 minute helicopter trip to observe operations on the Africa Petroleum’ s Maersk Deliverer rig. On Board the rig there are 119 people including a few Liberians, number of which are expected to rise as training for Liberian staff is ongoing.

It has been more than 30 years since oil companies searched for oil in the region; with the recent discovery of major oil fields in deep water offshore Ghana, and the discovery of oil offshore Sierra Leone, geologists are compelled to look closely at the possibility of finding oil in Liberia. Africa Petroleum (AP) experts have now identified the same type of oil bearing rocks found in neighboring Sierra Leone following the 3D seismic program on its offshore Blocks. The company will have the first well ever drilled in the deeper waters off the Liberian coast.

Despite the possibility of immense wealth for the people of Liberia safety and the environment is high on list of LiMA which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AP on Safety concerns and the grave need for technology transfer. “On a rig like this, safety is paramount”, Deputy Commissioner for Maritime Safety and Environment, Charles Gono, Jr. is quoted saying. “We require the highest safety standards while we monitor the environmental impact assessment.”

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