Liberia oil company lays off all personnel to save firm

Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:5PM

File photo shows an oil production platform operating off the Liberian coast in West Africa.

File photo shows an oil production platform operating off the Liberian coast in West Africa.

Liberia’s state oil company has announced that it is laying off all its personnel as part of a revamp plan aimed to save the company from final collapse amid plummeting global oil prices.

The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) said in a statement on Monday that it is laying off managers and low-level workers alike because it “cannot afford the administrative and operational bills” and would later rehire staff for a downsized operation, AFP reported.

“Despite the best efforts of the board and management to put in place several austerity measures to manage the situation, the continuing crumbling oil prices have severely undermined NOCAL’s capacity to meet its operational and personnel obligations,” said the statement.

The company added that “restructuring and administrative adjustments will affect every layer of the company including the board and management, and a new recruitment or re-employment exercise will be guided by the highest standards of transparency, with the board having hired an external consultant to carry out the entire process.”

NOCAL has been among the main sources of revenue for the Liberian budget, while playing a key role in the country’s post-war reconstruction program.

Liberia’s oil sector is still emerging, with companies such as US-based Anadarko and energy giant, Chevron, beginning offshore drilling in recent years.

Liberian government had high hopes that new oil discoveries would boost the country’s economy which was ravaged by a devastating civil war that ended more than a decade ago.

However, falling oil and gas prices have dealt a blow to efforts made to develop the country’s energy sector at a time when the economy has been also devastated by the Ebola epidemic

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