Jonathan Gant, a policy adviser with Global Witness, said oil discoveries could bring much-needed revenue for the West African country. Corruption, however, must be addressed.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said this week in Houston that economic reform and transparency were central to her administration's efforts to bring more investments to Liberia.
Gant said Liberian efforts at transparency were "promising" but additional progress could take a considerable amount of time.
"We are optimistic that, if the government continues down the reformist path it is now taking, Liberia's citizens can reap the full benefits of the country's oil wealth," he said.
Chevron in 2010 announced that it received approval from the Liberian government to take control of a 70 percent interest in three deep-water concessions off the country's coast. Australian oil company African Petroleum in January announced "encouraging results" from a frontier prospect off the Liberian coast.