The Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA) has announced an extension of the Liberia License Round 2020 for nine blocks in the highly prospective Harper Basin to March 2021. The Authority also announced new changes to the commercial terms of incentivising investment in Liberia.
The License Round was launched in April 2020 and attracted interests from players in the industry. The Government of Liberia previously set the deadline for pre-qualification on October 31st 2020 and candidates who qualify are to submit their final bids before February 2021.
Putting into consideration the negative impact of COVID-19 on the global oil & gas sector and the slump in oil prices, the government has announced an extension of the deadline for pre-qualification from October 31st2020 to March 31st 2021 and the deadline for submission of bids by qualified companies is to run from April 30th 2021 to May 30th 2021.
The extension is to allow interested parties the opportunity to adjust to the new normal and re-strategize their investment portfolio. The LPRA is to issue a notice of awards to companies whose bids have been accepted and evaluated as most responsive and do the same to formalise a petroleum sharing agreement.
These changes include the adjustment of requirements for signature bonus from a minimum of $8 million payable in one tranche to a more flexible option. Under the new terms, there will be no minimum requirement which will allow companies to submit bids describing their proposal for a signature bonus. With the adjustment, the industry is to determine the signature value for each block based on submissions.
In addition to designating the signature bonus as a biddable item, LPRA has announced that interested bidders will have an opportunity to negotiate a payment schedule with the Government of Liberia. Also, LPRA has modified the mandatory 2D seismic data purchase requirement for the entire Harper Basin to require interested bidders to license 2D seismic data for the particular block (s) of interest.