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Bahamas has potential for oil, gas discoveries, says BPC

Leading local petroleum company says island nation may still have hidden reserves 

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011

A petroleum company remains confident that The Bahamas could prove to be an untapped well for oil and gas discoveries, although decades of sporadic explorations have met with negligible success.

“The potential for supergiant fields is present, possibly half a billion barrel fields and greater,” says Dr Paul Crevello, Bahamas Petroleum Company Plc (BPC) chief operating officer.

Pointing to studies done by independent consultants and firms, he suggests that local fields could yield anywhere from 500 million “to potentially” one billion barrels of oil.

Crevello comments were made at the 20th Bahamas Business Outlook conference, where he spoke on the topic “Petroleum Exploration in The Bahamas – Past, Present & Future.”

“The probability of success on the pre-drill depends on the amount of study we do prior to drilling the wells, essentially acquisition of sufficient geophysical data to mitigate any of the risk in drilling,” says Crevello, a recognized oilfield expert with international experience in the discovery of major reserves.

He admitted, however, that “we’ll never know until we drill a well.”

BPC is not the first company to think The Bahamas might be the next big thing in oil production.

Between 1947 and 1986 major international oil companies conducted sporadic explorations in The Bahamas, drilling five deep petroleum exploration wells onshore or in Bahamian waters. The last drilling took place over 20 years ago.

When BPC was formed in 2005, the company says, there was no oil or gas data on The Bahamas readily available. Hurricanes had reportedly destroyed the government’s geological technical data.

Following a three-year international search and acquire mission BPC amassed extensive material detailing the oil and gas exploration history of The Bahamas and a record of oil and gas shows in old wells.

With the US not allowing drilling off the Florida shore and along the eastern US coast as a result of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, BPC believes the time is ripe for exploration discoveries in The Bahamas, in order to capitalize on an energy hungry American market.

“We believe that there is potential for significant oil to be found in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” says Crevello. “Future exploration sector will require that the guidelines be in place for drilling with stringent exploration guidelines.”

BPC says it will conduct all of its oil explorations “in an environmentally sensitive way to preserve the environment for future generations.”

Winterbotham Trust Company celebrates its twentieth anniversary in style, as it looks to expand its presence in Asia

Last year had its challenges, but Bahamas Realty founder, Robin Brownrigg, is optimistic signs of growth will start to show in 2011. The veteran realtor says that prudent lending by Canadian banks insulated the island nation from the worst of the crash.

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