Chevron seeks oil off the coast of Liberia

August 31, 2010

Chevron Corp. inked a deal with the West African nation of Liberia to look for oil off its coast.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed slaves, is one of the poorest countries on the planet. Like Angola, another African nation where Chevron (NYSE: CVX) has discovered and pumped out a lot of oil, Liberia was brutalized by a long civil war and many atrocities between factions in the fight.

This deal lets San Ramon-based Chevron seek oil for three years in the Atlantic Ocean off the Liberian coast.

Chevron already does a lot of work off the Nigerian coast further east under the bulge of Africa, another place where civil conflict adds to the already daunting technical task of getting oil out of strata far below deep ocean water.

Although Angola, in southern Africa, is still ruled by Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ran it throughout its long civil war, Liberia has an elected president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

As it rebuilds following its 15-year civil war, Liberia is hoping to bring in some money from oil contracts. It has given exploration rights to a number of other businesses, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC).

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