(Adds Exxon, Liberian officials, background)
MONROVIA Oct 18 Exxon Mobil Corp will
start drilling its first exploratory well off the coast of
Liberia in November, the world's largest publicly traded oil
company said on Tuesday.
"ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Liberia Limited, an
affiliate of ExxonMobil, plans to drill a deepwater exploration
well on the Liberia-13 Block, located about 50 miles offshore
Liberia, beginning in November 2016," a spokeswoman said.
Matthew Scharf, Exxon regional public and government affairs
adviser, told Reuters it was not known how much drilling would
cost or how long it would take.
Liberia does not produce oil unlike its eastern neighbour,
Ivory Coast, which produces about 53,000 barrels a day, and
Ghana, the next country along the West African coast, which
pumps about 100,000 bpd.
"This project will create jobs for Liberians and help the
economy .... if they can find oil of commercial quality," said
Clarence Moniba, deputy chief of staff to Liberia's president.
(Reporting by Alphonso Toweh; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg;
Editing by Peter Cooney)