(Adds Exxon, Liberian officials, background)
MONROVIA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - 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)