President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Level Of Liberians In Oil Exploration Pleases Pres. Sirleaf
MONROVIA, April 23 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has visited a rig, about 15 nautical miles off the Liberian coast, where ongoing oil exploration by the American energy company, Chevron, is taking place.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader said she was highly impressed by the level of the Liberian workforce involvement in activities at the rig, which demonstrates adherence to local content commitment.
President Sirleaf said she was glad that the Liberians on board are not only distinguished citizens, but at the same time, handling other technical operations on the rig which sends a signal that Liberians can do even better when giving the opportunity.
She encouraged her compatriots currently assigned on the West Tellus to continue to be committed and dedicated to duty as they serve as Liberian ambassadors on the Chevron rig as well as examples for potential Liberians who could be recruited to work in the industry.
Demonstrating this, Mr. Alfred Johnson Kamara, a Liberian, led President Sirleaf on a guided tour of the gigantic marine carrier, explaining various functions and duties of each section to the amazement of the President.
“The commitment demonstrated by the national staff,” President Sirleaf said, “was in further manifestation of how Liberians continue to tell the world that they have skills and only needed to be tapped.”
President Sirleaf emphasized that the performance displayed by young Liberians show how they can perform when given the opportunity and the space.
She was responding to a national staff of Chevron who expressed gratitude to her administration for creating the investment opportunity that resulted to their recruitment in the drilling industry.
The Liberian leader appealed the Chairman of the Board of National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Cllr. Seward Cooper, to take into consideration the pleas of the national staff on the rig for training opportunities.
Cllr. Cooper praised the enthusiasm of the local staff and promised NOCAL’s continuous help to educate Liberians to allow them to fully participate in Liberia’s oil future.
The spokesperson for the national staff, Abraham Sanvee, thanked President Sirleaf and appealed to her to create more training opportunities for Liberians, especially in the vocational-technical and non-degree granting areas.
Mr. Sanvee said there were many Liberians who are not in the position to obtain degrees, but are willing to undergo training in vocational and technical areas that they are currently specialized in.
He said by the recent promotion of several Liberians from one position to the other, they are willing to undergo short-term training opportunities.
The Project Manager, Wayne West, speaking earlier, informed President Sirleaf that the national staff serves as an inspiration to the drilling process due to their commitment to duty in all areas of their assignment.
According to him, of all the deep sea drilling experience, on the marine craft, the West Tellus, Liberians have demonstrated the highest degree of commitment, integrity and efficiency in drilling and have at the same time learned their assigned duties in a relatively short period of time.
Mr. West informed the Liberian leader that encouraged by their performance, the company has also afforded them refresher training opportunities in Singapore and Ghana on periodic basis.
Recently, 23 Liberian rig workers flew to Singapore to undergo capacity-building training; while 18 others, including one female, are expected to depart for training in Namibia shortly.
Mr. West, however, outlined the challenges in collaborating with Liberians in the area of environmental waste management which, he said, is costing the company huge amounts of money because they’ve had to hire a Ghanaian-based company to handle this aspect of the work.
He encouraged Liberians to get involved as Chevron is willing to collaborate with Liberian-owned businesses in realizing their dream.
On the drilling itself being done by Seadrill, Mr. West said while they crave for commercial quantity, there is still no clue as to what to expect during the exploration.
Chevron China Energy Company signed a contract worth upwards of $150 million for a180-day project off the coast of Liberia that is being carried out by Seadrill.
The West Tellus is outfitted to work in up to 10,000 feet of water and is capable of water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling depths of up to 37,000 feet.