By Mambu James Kpargoi, Monrovia
The National Oil Company of Liberia will host the Liberian Business Linkages and Equity Participation in the Hydrocarbon sub-sector of the Liberian Economy Validation and Sensitization Forum on July 14 and 15, 2011 at the Monrovia City Hall.
The Forum is part of a series of engagements aimed at ensuring that Liberia’s emerging oil and gas industry provides local value and maximizes benefits to Liberians.
The Forum is aimed at building the agenda for Liberian businesses to take advantage of the immense economic benefits that will evolve in the event of future discovery and production of oil in Liberia.
The Forum aims to bring Liberian businesses on board with what is happening in the country’s emerging oil and gas sector. The Forum seeks to underline the importance of future oil discovery for the Liberian economy and for Liberian businesses to have a solid foundation to ensure their active participation in the Hydrocarbon Sector.
The Forum format will involve a series of interactive lectures and round-table discussions. The target audience is business entrepreneurs and institutions of Liberian ownership.
Two international experts in Local Content Development in the Oil and Gas Sector, Mr. Anthony E. Paul and Dr. Michael Warner will make presentations at the Forum. Mr. Anthony E. Paul is the Managing Director of the Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists (ACES) Ltd., a leading Caribbean oil, gas and power advisory firm, based in Trinidad and Tobago and an expert in oil and gas exploration. Dr. Michael Warner is Director of the United Kingdom based Local Content Solutions.
The National Oil Company recently commissioned a study to serve as a basis for developing local business linkages with transnational corporations (TNCs) during hydrocarbon development. The study placed special emphasis on ensuring significant Liberian content in the delivery of goods and services during the exploration phase.
As there is a high degree of probability that Liberia will be an oil producing nation in the near future, NOCAL desires to avoid the mistakes of oil producing nations that did not develop a framework to integrate most or all aspects of hydrocarbon development into their economies. As a result, the full potential of socioeconomic development was hardly realized for these countries, which then caused instability and validated what social scientists refer to as the resource curse. In order to avoid the resource curse, Liberia must integrate hydrocarbon development into the local economy by building linkages, which promote small and medium enterprise (SME) growth and development, improve human resources and results in capacity building. Topics of the Forum are:
Ø Ensuring Local Content in the Liberian Hydrocarbon Sector – What it Means for Liberians;
Ø Liberia’s True Growth Engines for the Hydrocarbons Sector;
Ø Understanding the concepts, strategies, principles, rules and potential regulations of Local Content;
Ø Building Business Linkages to Increase Local Content and Equity Participation by Liberians in the Sector;
Ø Local Content Development: Lessons from experience and possible ways forward – International Oil Company or International Oil Services Co. Rep; Collaboration between local entrepreneurs and trans-national companies in Liberia – What we are looking for; what can we offer? and The Way Forward.