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Call For Government To Come Clean On Oil

AS THE expiration of Bahamas Petroleum Company's permits to drill for oil in the Bahamas draws near, the DNA is again calling on the government to come clean on the future of the deal.

The permits expire on Saturday, but have been under a moratorium since 2008, pending the creation of new safety regulations for oil drilling.

While the government remains silent, the DNA noted that according to BPC's website, "the Governor-General shall renew the licenses for another three years, provided the company commits to drill an exploration well and spuds the well before the end of the first renewal year, ie, by April 26, 2013".

The party said in a statement: "This is indisputable evidence of the government's intentions to allow BPC to drill for oil in the Bahamas and proves what Ben Albury, the Democratic National Alliance candidate for Montagu, and the DNA have been saying for months now."

The DNA noted that members of BPC's legal team are prominent members of the PLP.

"This has caused much concern in the DNA and the party sees this as a conflict of interest. Jerome Gomez, the Killarney candidate, is the resident manager at BPC.

"Phillip 'Brave' Davis, senior law partner at Davis & Co, provides legal advice to BPC.

"Gomez and Davis are the PLP candidates for Killarney; and San Salvador, Cat Island and Rum Cay, respectively.

"BPC might be a Bahamian registered company, but we know that foreigners to date have reaped all the rewards from the sale of this company's shares on the London stock exchange," the party said.

DNA leader Branville McCartney added: "All I want is the Prime Minister to tell the Bahamian people the truth about oil exploration in the Bahamas. Experts have been telling us that the oil deposits in the Bahamas are worth more than $1 trillion.

"This isn't BTC. This is 1,000 times bigger than BTC. The prime minister continues to play with the future of the Bahamian people.

"His submission in The Nassau Guardian today that there will be no oil drilling under the FNM is unsubstantiated and is only a smoke screen to deter the DNA from pursuing the truth."

The DNA said it believes the proceeds of this industry will transform the Bahamas into a country rich with growth potential.

Mr McCartney said: "The DNA believes in empowering Bahamians. Under a DNA government, all Bahamians will thrive.

"We will not negotiate secret deals where only a few Bahamians profit. We will not allow foreign companies to reap hundreds of millions dollars in profits and leave the scraps for Bahamians."

Comments

BigD1 2 years ago

Ok so what exactly would satisfy the DNA about the Governement intentions. What document or contract signed in blood would cause them to stop persuing an obvious political issue. No matter which party is in power Oil drilling would never become reality without the support of the Bahamian people. Any one with common sense knows this so what's the point of all of this......

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BigD1 2 years ago

And by the way...should they not pose these questions to the PLP cause it's there leaders who are the legal reps for BPC.

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notsogullible 1 year, 12 months ago

Anyone else feel that a permit to drill under the PLP will be beneficial only to pingdomites? Even if such an exercise (to drill) is inevitable, the worse government for it to happen under would be the PLP. Bahamas, WAKE UP, the PLP's key players already control MOST of all commercial wealth in this country.

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Arob 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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TalRussell 1 year, 12 months ago

This is the one seat that this FNM PM's ill-devised DNA formation political strategy aimed at blocking the reelection of Prime Minister Christie's government holds the best chances of backfiring on the FNM. Comrade Ben "is" going to steal away a ton of votes from the FNM's candidate, and the PM knows it, why else would he have sent the sitting member of the House to Long island? Comrade Ben is a class-act.

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notsogullible 1 year, 12 months ago

It's as ill-devised as you are ill-advised. Why don't you stick with calling Hard Copy.

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dacy 1 year, 12 months ago

WHAT THE DNA NEEDS TO ARTICULATE IS THE RISK FACTORS, AND THEIR CONTROL POLICY FOR THESE RISK. THE OIL SPILL THE GULF SHOULD PUT UP ENOUGH CUATION SIGNS.

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TalRussell 1 year, 12 months ago

All three parties are dead wrong for even considering allowing oil drilling anywhere in our Bahamian waters. Regardless of what this FNM PM says now this is but the first inning, if returned, that will see" foreigners first" master plan to explore the hell of to explore the hell out of our pristine Bahamian waters. This FNM regime is permitting seismic oil exploration to take place utilizing air guns to produce explosive impulses of sound toward the ocean’s bottom. This should be of deep concern to all natives as the sounds created by the air guns may have a long lasting negative impact on our fisheries. Regardless of the risk levels there are just far too many uncertainties of which this or no government has a clear understanding of, to tempt Mother Nature, to mess around with oil exploration. I cry shame on this foreign lover FNM regime for not explaining to the natives the many dangerous uncertainties involved with the unpredictable consequences when it comes to licensing the drilling for oil in our waters. I am convinced that winning the 2012 General Elections is but the first inning for this FNM PM to license the drilling of all hell out of the deepness of our Bahamian waters. Our tourism lifeblood is much to sensitive to even one oil exploration mistake.

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BigD1 1 year, 12 months ago

And I guess the Leader and the Deputy leader of the PLP who granted these licences and who are the legal consultants for this oil company if elected will say no to allowing their clients to drill for oil. Really?

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Apostle 1 year, 12 months ago

The prime minister said that his government has no plans to allow drilling for oil. That is today. He said that all BPC has to show are some seismic drawings showing where oil may be. I recall as a little boy the talk about oil being west of Andros. I don't know that "no plans today" means that the FNM government will have no plans 2 years from now if the findings and circumstances are right. The prime minister was very careful and selective in his choice of words because he realizes that his position may change. I don't know why that is such a concern for Albury as he is the only Bahamian talking possibly because he has some information. Like the saying goes " little knowledge can be dangerous". Get all of the facts and let us hear about the pros and cons and stop the posturing because that will not get you votes. The reality Mr. Albury is that nobody is really taking the DNA or Branville seriously. If posturing is what you want to do, then be advise that Perry Christie was an adviser to this company yet he was prime minister.

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M33 1 year, 12 months ago

I am an investor in BPC and therefore have an interest in the outcome of both the elections and permissions to drill argument.

The original licences were granted with what is now to be considered significant commercial advantage to the company.

I agree that if oil is found in the Bahamas, all the local population should benefit from the revenue stream that it would create.

Simply taxing the proceeds is not enough to guarantee the population would reap the benefits as the cash would be distributed by who ever was in power at the time, and politicians usually have their own agenda.

Maybe the Bahamian people should demand a similar system to Norway or Alaska where a proportion of income is placed in a ring fenced fund with trustees and and the people deciding how the fund is used.

Every citizen in Alaska receives a payment each year dependant on fund income from oil and reinvestment, and other cash is used for education and other community projects. The fund is designed to be self financing for future generations so when oil runs out, the benefits will continue through the years.

I note the argument over rebuilding the market and this is the sort of project the fund could finance. Scolarships, especially for oil exploration and development would ensure your future generation would benefit fom employment in not only in the Bahamas, but around the world.

One has to take into account the cost of oil exploration and development but once BPC have recovered costs there is no reason why a community tax could not be implemented over and above the current exploration contract terms.

It is up to the Bahamas people to decide how this pans out but the government spends more than it earns, so will fishing and tourism make up the shortfall. Even if it does, how many years will that take?

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UBP 1 year, 12 months ago

NO NO NO Don't DRILL FOR OIL it will kill our lill fishes & reefs ,JUST LIKE THE DIGGING IN THE WORLDS OLDEST MARINE PARK IN EXUMA IS DOING NOW ;-)

It is better to have our PPL starving than kill da fish dem.

YA TOO DUMB !

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C_MonMan 1 year, 12 months ago

The Governor-General is now negotiating, creating energy policy for the government and committing the Bahamas and a HAI government to contracts. That is laughable. The PM has issued a statement that fully rebuffs this fairy tale nonsense to say that there will be no drilling under his government. It would same to me, at least from this and other articles, that the positions of the DNA and PLP are similar in that they both would allow drilling now, whereas the PM has stated clearly that there would be no drilling under an FNM government. The PLP issued the licenses, the FNM implemented the moratorium and has stated that no drilling under the FNM government will be allowed. The DNA and PLP may believe that oil may spur economic growth for the Bahamas, but once again it would appear to me that the FNM has taken a more prudent approach that considers both the economic growth impact and the potential negative impact on the environment leading them to implement the current moratorium.

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