NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) yesterday asserted that Bahamians have a right to know whether there are commercial quantities of oil in the country, pushing back against claims from environmental opponents.
The company has been preparing for exploratory drilling for 10 years and claims it has spent more than $110 million to-date.
BPC expects to drill an exploratory oil well in Bahamian territorial waters off Andros and adjacent to the Bahamian/Cuban maritime border in late-December 2020.
Simon Potter, BPC CEO, said: “The Bahamian government is exercising its legitimate, sovereign right to find out if The Bahamas has its own hydrocarbon — oil — resource, which we believe could be substantial. Now, more than ever, with the islands facing economic fragility, suffering from both the aftermaths of hurricane damage and the impacts of COVID-19, a successful discovery has the potential to boost government revenues by billions of dollars in royalties, and allow for the creation of new contracts and jobs.
“Based upon our extensive interactions with communities throughout the islands over many years, we believe there is a silent multitude of Bahamians who are in favor of knowing the outcome of our 45 to 60-day fact-finding exercise — named Perseverance #1. But, as we have stated time and again, oil will not actually be produced from this exploratory drilling activity. Once scientific tests establish if oil is present, the well will be permanently sealed. We firmly believe that the people of The Bahamas have a right to know if this resource exists, which could deliver considerable wealth for not only this generation of Bahamians but for future generations to come.”