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ExxonMobil's (XOM) Return to Liberia Dispels Ebola Threat

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ExxonMobil Corporation 's XOM decision to return to Liberia establishes the fact that the area is no longer under the Ebola threat.

ExxonMobil was awarded Block 13 in 2013 but operations were deferred when the Ebola virus was found in the neighboring country of Guinea and spread throughout the region. Sierra Leone and Liberia had been the worst hit by the Ebola outbreak.

The reopening of ExxonMobil's office in Monrovia indicates that it is now safe to commence operations in one of the continent's most potential unexplored oil frontiers. In 2007, Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy Ltd. KOS declared their intention to develop Ghana's Tano basin discoveries, which helped to strengthen a massive band of the West Africa Margin.

The Country Manager in Monrovia mentioned that the company is prepared to begin drilling before the end of 2016. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is also contented with this development as she is motivated to reform the Petroleum Code, which is long overdue in a legislature taken up with factional infighting.

The oil major, along with its partner Canadian Overseas Petroleum, expects the debut well - Mesurado-1 - to confirm commercial hydrocarbons.

Interestingly, Ivory Coast has a target to double Ghana's current oil output of about 105,000 barrels per day before the end of 2020.

Explorers are eager to develop deep-water drilling to the west around the Windward Coast toward Sierra Leone. Chevron Corporation CVX also intends to drill in blocks BFI8A and FL8B in the same region, which will stimulate the undeveloped play. These efforts by various oil majors as well as local explorers are expected to revive the economy and boost the future oil and gas revenues of the Nubian region.

ExxonMobil currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another better-ranked player from the energy sector is Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. ETE , which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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