Liberia wants 10 oil contracts renegotiated

2012-05-09 14:51

Monrovia - Liberian lawmakers on Wednesday voted to renegotiate production sharing contracts with oil companies which they said violate the current petroleum law.

"All of the existing productions sharing contracts violate sections 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7 of the petroleum law," according to a statement read out in parliament after a debate on the issue.

The sections require a 20% share of the contract to go to the National Oil Company of Liberia (NACOL), that 10% shares of each contract be made available at fair market value to Liberians, and that 12-18% of gross production be paid as tax to government.

"We need to renegotiate all of the ten production sharing contracts to ensure that the interest of our country is protected," the house said in the statement.

"None of these companies has complied with the 10%, the 12% or the 18% requirement," parliament spokesperson Isaac Red said.

Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told journalists that the government had no problem with the renegotiation "but we have to explain this to these companies we have signed contracts with and that will require time".

The west African nation is pinning its hopes on oil exploration, and US-based Anadarko and energy giant Chevron began drilling off the coast in 2011.