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Oil Drilling Draft Bills Sent To Cabinet

photo

Kenred Dorsett

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE draft bills for oil drilling legislation are complete and have been sent to Cabinet, Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett said.

However, he added that he does not know the timeline when the bills will be addressed in Cabinet and subsequently brought before Parliament.

If passed, the bills are expected to provide a regulatory framework for oil exploration as the country faces a possible oil drilling referendum next year.  

The government announced last year that prior to any referendum, it would allow exploratory oil drilling to determine if there are commercial quantities of oil in the country.

In the lead-up to the last general election, Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said his administration would not drill for oil if re-elected, noting the potential damage that could be done to the country’s natural resources if drilling were to take place.

Nonetheless, last December, Mr Dorsett told The Tribune that the regulatory framework to govern the country’s petroleum sector will be a “priority” this year as work is done to advance regulations that would “be able to last for the next 50 years.”

The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) was given five oil exploration licenses in April 2007, which were renewed for another three years in 2012.

The company has said that it has spent $50 million in the country, most of it on three-dimensional seismic testing. It has also completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

If commercial quantities of oil are discovered, the government has said it would engage the Bahamian people in a public information programme to ensure all facts are made available before a national referendum.

Comments

BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

The idea of BEGINNING to drill for oil in this day and age, when every major economy in the world is trying to move BEYOND fossil fuels, is pretty unbelievable.

Alaska's shorelines, wildlife, and residents are still seeing and feeling the effects of an oil spill that took place 25 years ago.

For the Bahamas to risk so much, for the sake of a finite supply of a product that is being phased out all around the world, is BEYOND stupid.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Not a single major, or minor economy in the world is trying to move beyond fossil fuels. By all means you should push for alternatives, but that is currently exactly what they are, just an alternative to our mainstay, fossil fuels. A very tiny area of Alaska still sees some residual effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which was the result of outdated shipping technology, a drunk captain, and very poor regulation. We have learned from such tragedies, and looking back and digging in our heals to point to one particular incident is a disservice to progression.

Should we not be pushing for better regulation, better oversight, and better use of our resources, rather than blindly pointing at oil and yelling that it is the devil?

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 6 months ago

Someone please tell MP Dorsett that oil was discovered off Long Island in the early 1970s and the well was capped. Oil in da sea man!!!!!!!!!!!!

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

ain't nothin developed yet, heard of it some years ago.

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

lets get the new law about derelict cars through first - at least this is a topic that all MPs and members of cabinet can intellectually grasp.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a travesty when emotive and empty rhetoric have sway over a rational perspective of a situation.

Other economies may be looking at alternatives to fossil fuels but are STILL heavily reliant on them. Which nation produces the majority of its power from wind or sun for example. Of course, there's always the option of nuclear energy or even fracking if its viable. Would those be more palatable?

The reality is that the country is in desperate need of oil revenues, whatever certain emotionally manipulative contributors may say. Thats what can directly impact the quality of peoples lives through new schools, hospitals and an overall better standard of living.

The oil regulations are being put in place so best practices can be adopted to prevent such oil spillages refered to. These will be the safest operations anywhere in the world. Even if the Government prevented drilling with the loss of potential revenues, that decision would not impact other countries like Cuba who would continue drilling whilst this country loses out.

We must remember oil may not be found for those of us who may be tempted to bargain for 100% of nothing. Are we willing to put up the costs of full drilling operations for that.

Its time we put those who try to emotionally manipulate us through empty rhetoric in their place. Lets have new schools, hospitals and a better standard of living. The Cubans will do what they have to regardless of us.

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

Albania, Angola, Austria, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, DRC, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Kenya, Krygyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all produce the MAJORITY of their energy using renewable (non-fossil fuel) sources.

It's time to stop listening to oil companies who are trying to sell us an outdated, dirty, finite, and potentially catastrophic fuel source. There are smarter, better ways to make money and improve the standard of living in The Bahamas.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

This is a terribly uninformed and short sighted view of how the world actually works. Some of those countries may posses the capacity to generate electricity from non-fossil fuels, but until we find some great river system to dam, or until we build ourselves a nuclear power station, then we and most of the world will continue to rely on fossil fuels for electricity. This of course, doesn't mention the fact that all transportation in the world is reliant on fossil fuels.

It would be nice to someday have a world with clean energy but that is not the current reality and will not be for some time. We should be pumping this oil out while we have the opportunity and using that money to better our country.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

"regulations are being put in place so best practices can be adopted to prevent such" "These will be the safest operations anywhere in the world." Hear this form every greedy rapist. Last one wanted a stem cell shopping mall if that sounds safe.

"We must remember oil may not be found for those of us who may be tempted to bargain for 100% of nothing. Are we willing to put up the costs of full drilling operations for that." HA sound like an investor intruder.

Read up. investments in Cubas oil took decades and 700 billion and Everyone pulled out. No oil there. Which is why more emphasis was placed here or that's at least how bpc made it sound.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Was that meant to be an 'informed' response?

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Thats another example of inaccurate, manipulative and emotive rhetoric. It certainly doesnt help the genuine cause of the country.

Norway for example was the 8th largest exporter of crude oil in the world in 2011 & the worlds 3rd largest gas exporter!!! So much for dismissing hydrocarbon production when their wealth & economic infrastructure has been built on it. Thats only one example from the list.

I would urge all who want an objective, dispassionate & ultimately beneficial overview for our people, to read my original comments regarding emotive & manipulative rhetoric on the subject.

OUR COUNTRY NEEDS OIL REVENUES - FACT!!

We're in deep economic trouble if we dont get them!

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

You are obviously embracing a bizarre new trend in debates - Criticize the person you are arguing with of doing exactly what you yourself are doing.

It is NOT a fact the the Bahamas needs oil revenues, it's your opinion. Chasing oil revenues is looking backwards, The Bahamas should be looking forward.

The Bahamas is NOT in deep economic trouble without oil. That is your opinion. I'm sure the many business leaders and innovators in this country who are looking further ahead are embarrassed by your pessimism.

I don't think you know what you're talking about, but by what you're saying I would assume you have a personal stake in the oil industry.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

This new trend in debates you are alluding to is called an Ad-Hominem, and is nothing new, and not what is happening here. Philip is attacking your arguments, not you. Nowhere do I see a personal attack in any of their statements.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

NONE of the richest oil country's earnings has translated into higher gdp per capita. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza...">http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza...

Oil rich Nigeria who's gdp is $ 294,800 billions GDP , yet GDP per capita is 1,555.41 USD (2012). Launda , Angola, Venezuala the list goes on and on especially when you break down the numbers.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

GDP per capita figures are dependent on respective populations, Nigeria's being around 169 Million! Its about to become Africa's largest economy and it's well worth investigating the proportion of Govt. funds actually derived from oil production!

The reality is that oil production for our country (assuming oil is there) could turn us into a premier, 21st century nation instead of on the verge of bankruptcy.

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

19th century nation, not 21st century nation.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

In Norway, wild kelp is harvested on a five-year rotation for production and sale of alginates -- used as stabilizers and emulsifiers in foods, among other things. Wild harvest would not be feasible for the quantities needed for biofuels

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Tell me something I didn't know!

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

I would like to know exactly how our country is going to tackle the National Debt without oil revenues? Taxes on tourists perhaps.

Emotional and unsubstantiated rhetoric designed to mislead only works on those not fully aware of the dire economic situation we are in!

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

How about opening your doors to the multitudes of non-petroleum based businesses, investors, and innovators?

Like technology, agriculture, renewable energies, or dozens of others?

How about improving the tourism industry? Or actually collecting and enforcing the existing tax and Customs laws in this country?

To act like oil is the only way is inaccurate, emotional, and unsubstantiated.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't see the world beating down our doors in order to invest in any non-petroleum businesses here. By all means, I think growing those are a fantastic idea, but that does not mean that we can look for oil as well.

All of the things you mention would be great but can all be done alongside a healthy and profitable petroleum industry.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

  • Palm oil : Exports dominated by Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Solar : Our own country has what everyone is really looking for.. sun. This would be the best place to lead in solar energy. US gov has even made a public challenge, offering a prize to any group that can cut implementation costs ( http://energy.gov/articles/rooftop-so...">http://energy.gov/articles/rooftop-so... ) NY is adding a billion to their solar program. Loans , grants everywhere.
  • Biofuel from algae/kelp/seaweed :
  • Sugar: " Today, 15% percent of Barbados’ energy supply is renewable sugarcane waste and bagasse (the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice) (Meisen and Krumpel, 2009)" .
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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

The Arab regions have plenty of sun too. It doesnt stop them from exporting oil and utilizing resultant revenues to benefit the populace through better healthcare, education & infrastructure. A few generations ago many were desert peasants!

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

You mean like Dubia , the land off impoverished average Joes. Today very very many ..are peasants. How can that happen?

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Dubai is now making strong efforts toward green energy. Of all that wealth, why care? O that's right, it's thinking forward, whereas they couldn't spend to do it before oil.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Do some basic research into cost, utilisation & revenue producing translations for alternative energy sources instead of posting up abstract links. You'll then realise how impractical your 'master plan' is!

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 6 months ago

First it was VAT, then it was webshops that would take card of the national debt. Sounds like any initiative the govt wants to push through gets "national debt panacea" stamped across it

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Taxing internet gambling can fix all that. We let Antigua take the gold with this one. It's illegal in the states and therefore Antigua capitalized in online casinos and banked so much that lawsuits went all the way up to WTO , which Antigua won. Where are we?

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 6 months ago

U go Philip, the only disgusting thing is that the political cronies will be licking their lips waiting on kickbacks.................. SMT

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TalRussell 6 years, 6 months ago

PM are the best interests of Bahamalander's being satisfied?

CHRISTIE RESPONDS TO OIL DRILLING CONCERNS

.......// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_VFnQ..." rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_VFnQ...

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

'Openi g the doors to the multitude of non petroleum businesses' is a naive and empty comment. If it was that easy, the doors refered to would have been open a long time ago and the national debt addressed. As far as 'collecting taxes', even the most optimistic eztimates of such would make little impact in tackling the major problem of the aforementioned national debt. It would be like emptyi g a bath with a teaspoon while the taps still running. As far as 'crtiticising a poster', thats not my intention but i certainly will challenge the eroneous content of the posts as i would expect such content to be better researched. The point about Norway is a typical example. I could have picked ANY country crom that list and showed the assertion made to be FALSE. Albania for example has major exploration planned with all those countrys heavily reliant on fossil fuels / hydrocarbons. Why post such inaccurate information. Surely our people desrve the truth about our dire economic position and real ways to address that rather then abstract statements about 'inward investment'. Its such naivety and attempts at manipulative rhetoric which undermine the efforts of our country to pull out of this national debt hole we find ourselves in. Marginal / selfish interests should have no part in a discussion of such wide reaching importance. Tourism alone will not save us. Neither will the associated industries, gambling shops or self serving politicians. The People of our country deserve better and hopefully we can also aspire to schools, hospitals and infrastructure as Norway has done (the example you use) through their own oil revenues. Lets do it for the People!

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TalRussell 6 years, 6 months ago

If it poses a serious direct threat to Florida, then why not to Bahamaland's tourism and marine life? Would be interesting to read what is in the US Embassy's confidential files over the concerns voiced by the US Coastguard and The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) re the possible threats oil drilling for "sludge oil" in Bahamaland's waters pose to Florida. If our USA Embassy Comrades have made such concerns known to the government, shouldn't Bahamalander's be told? Whatever happened to the old barge left abandoned in Abaco, is it still there?

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a point of note that the US has now allowed the recommencement of deep water oil drilling as it was always going to do. It realises the economic realities associated with oil production as does a country like Cuba.

The irony is that the new regulations will mean the adoption of the best practice's for such drilling in our waters, albeit we may sabotage any potential benefits through our naive assessment of the situation.

Any oil revenues will translate into better medical care and education for a start. We want and have a right to the latest anticancer drugs and diagnostic equipment, the best aftercare, an education system to build our children into leaders in any chosen field, an infrastructure to reflect our committed move into the 21st century with a standard of living to match.

I would prefer these blessings from the Almighty then empty prayers & hollow words from some of our esteemed clergy and other notable custodians of our pastoral wellbeing. I see the opportunity we have here to improve the quality of life of our people as a real gift from the Almighty.

Remember, people like the Cubans will drill anyway to pay for their own healthcare & education while our people are led astray by those who should know better.

I want the jobs and inward investment that oil revenues will provide. I want the best healthcare if my family are sick. I want my children to have the best education which will enable them to be leaders in their field on a global stage.

I don't want to be part of a bankrupt nation whose youth aspire to boogie board on overweight american tourists as their highest achievement in life.

God has given our people a chance. Will our people embrace it or will they be blind to it & be misled by those whose sole purpose is to maintain control for themselves?

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

If God wanted us to use fossil fuels, why do you think he buried them hundreds of feet below the surface of the Earth, and made them so destructive to the planet?

This is a pointless discussion.
I just hope you live long enough to see what a stupid mistake this will be.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

I hope you realize that every tool or technology that allows us to live our modern lives is due to taking things from hundred of feet (up to miles) below the surface and using them. Where do you think the iron for the steel in your car, or the saw blades that cut the wood for your house come from?

You can thank the life you have now, which is far better than life 50, 100, 500 or any amount of years ago, on the things we have taken out of the ground, including fossil fuels.

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't the one stating that oil was "God's gift," you obviously missed the point. You also failed to comment on how dirty and destructive fossil fuels have been to the planet.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Fossil fuels have given our planet infinitely more good than bad. Oil spills, these and air pollution pale in comparison to what we have achieved with fossil fuels. Flight, cars, modern medicine, the entire industrial revolution, none of that would have occurred with fossil fuels. I will take some damage to the environment any day over regressing 300 years.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

New citizen hasn't lived here long enough if at all, we've lived here always 300 years behind because we've had only the environment and expect that in the end we'll only have the environment. We haven't had an industrial revolution alien, ppl dive 30 ft without equipment and come back up with conch. ( Locals didn't even see the need for more roads so good luck selling based on industrialization and things we never had any way whilst the world is hunkering down). Realize oil is on E. The 21st century world has moved on why shouldn't we lead the way. Not taking initiative is regressing. Nasa's building a closed environment for space, soldiers are trained to live months off the land, they're the most advanced technology institutions. We've been doing that and now tourist pay to come enjoy island lifestyle. Hillary Clinton even started a program urging caribbean island to become self sustained. Coral reefs have medicine. We can be ahead in going green. We should seek investments in smarter alternatives before emptying the pot.

Businesses are already switching http://www.bahamaswaste.com/biod.html">http://www.bahamaswaste.com/biod.html

and building completely energy efficient http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/bus...">http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/bus...

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

You are certainly very good at using the internet, considering your age of over 300 all while living pre-industrial age island.

I would have hoped all that internet research would have made you more informed about how the world actually works.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Cubans had to drill, they were embargoed. It was Russia drilling.

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

We can choose between two models. The Nigerian model under which the country gets raped by Big Oil or the Venezuelan model, where the Government is trying to be a successful entrepreneur. Either way the only people that make money are the leading businessmen of the country and the Politicians. Good luck Bahamas, and Good Night.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Or the Norwegian model, or the Canadian model, or the Russian model, where the country has tight regulations and earns high royalties while letting private companies invest in the infrastructure and do the work.

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

right. this is the Bahamas my friend.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Well maybe we should be holding our politicians and leaders to a higher standard. Why is it ok that we suffer from corruption and mismanagement in this country? We have all the resources to be a thriving nation yet we do nothing because we just accept the terrible way things are. It's time we change this for ourselves.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

She's white. She's using european countries as example when obviously black nations and our latin american affiliates are more relatable. We're talking about black crab syndrome. At present, we're talking about a gov that knows they will never be re-elected given the day of social media where people remember what happened and they have been accused of unethical involvements. Since you're Foreign, I will enlighten you that this is the same gov which was intermingled in the Anna Nicole scandal, and the same party who's notorious members tried to bribe John Travolta of $20 million in hush money. Those just happen to be the only internationally known references to our administration.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

As 'Newcitizen' quite rightly points out and also 'who covers the astronomical costs involved if there is no oil?'. The companies involved in the drilling process.

Let's start working together in an intelligent way to benefit our nation.

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone really trust this government to be able to negotiate a deal that really benefits the Bahamian people? Does anyone remember the fanfare over the 0% buy back?

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

So we should do nothing? The government work for us and is elected by us. It's time we demanded more of them so that we can further our country instead of the political leaders only furthering themselves. If a corrupt and inept government is standing in the way of our progress then we need to push them aside and continue on as they are only holding us back.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Lets just all sit on our hands then!

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

yep probably better on this one. Look at the great achievements in selling BEC, BTC, renewable energy, dealing with waste. I agree its a pot of money down there (if there is oil) but the good news is, its not running away and it gets more expensive by the day. so no rush. leave something for our kids.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Exactly, If we're smart we'd hold out. 1st worlders can suffer til they run dry. But remember someone said these guys were consulting drilling companies before election..know what that means. They owe up and on a deadline http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/c...">http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/c...

Ha, they named their voters "gold rush" .

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

!!!!!BEWARE ! These GREEDY FUCKS can't stay on their side. There must be rules against this. We can't be on iii.co.uk. The Audacity. See right here the bold crew , they're in here steamrolling your opinion and calling you "brainwashed with inaccurate, manipulative and emotive rhetoric" trying to manipulate our overwhelming stance on the matter because this is all their investors have to read. POSERS. Get em Tribune. See right here who "CARES" about us.

http://www.tribune242.com/users/phili...">http://www.tribune242.com/users/phili... http://www.tribune242.com/users/laall...">http://www.tribune242.com/users/laall... http://www.tribune242.com/users/yakee...">http://www.tribune242.com/users/yakee... http://www.tribune242.com/users/BPCIn...">http://www.tribune242.com/users/BPCIn... http://www.tribune242.com/users/Feedu...">http://www.tribune242.com/users/Feedu...

All those people will lose is some money ,one bad accident and we'll lose EVERYTHING.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 6 months ago

The Bahamas is a broke nation because of piss poor deal making on behalf of the Bahamian people, along with Piss poor management & piss poor policies that do not put the interest of the Bahamian people first. When u have 550 million in uncollected property taxes, 500 million illegal profits that can be seized from illegal webb shops owners and opportunities for profits through better management and cost reduction, drilling for oil in our precious waters should be off no option.. What about legalized marijuana as an option? Does anyone remember what happened in Louisiana with the Gulf oil spill?

I freeze every winter dreaming of returning home, why don't i move back, simple, too much crime, violence and ignorance, limited career opportunities & pay.. We are modern day slaves in our own land to the tourism & banking industry.. Now they are proposing we become slaves to the oil companies & allow them to destroy our most precious natural assets our beautiful land, seas, sea life, with stinking oil rigs waiting to erupt in our waters.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

You are right about the problems we have here, the piss poor management and deal making, the crime, the corruption.

But we are not slaves to tourism or the banks, they exist here despite our best efforts to sink them. Tourism, banks, new industry, new investments, and even oil are our hope to progress. What stands in our way is our attitude to accept the problems of our country and do nothing about them. We don't hold our politicians accountable for their corrupt actions. We need to take charge of our own future and push aside those who stand in our way.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

A good example of emotionally dependent but substantively devoid rhetoric by the previous contributors. Our people deserve a more informed and intelligent debate on the issue, certainly not immature outbursts.

This is especially important as those same oil revenues can directly translate into better healthcare for our sick & a much better education for our youth. They deserve it beyond the vocally manipulative elements of some of our people!

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

To say that this prospect would be an amazing opportunity for our country is an understatement. The oil prospects identified by BPC have been classified as supergiant as one of the structures are believed to hold over one billion barrells of oil (there are 20 of them by the way). With the government and Bahamian people standing to split the profits 50/50 with the company it would be unwise not to commercialize any find if exploration drilling confirms that we have oil. When you look at how transformative the petroleum sector has been to the economy of some nations, norway and qatar for example, can we really afford not to confirm and develop a natural resource such as petroleum. When you look at how many offshore wells are drilled every year globally the risk of catatrosphic events such as blowouts is really small. This coupled with new safety equipment now available as a result of the Maconda accident in the Gulf of Mexico further minimizes the risks. Billions of barrells of oil is already shipped through the Bahamas each year as we have several major transhipment lanes for oil tankers running through the islands. This coupled with Cuba drilling on the opposite side of the maritime border means we are already assuming all the inherent risks but are getting none of the benefits. That first prospect they are planning to test could be worth 100 billion dollars (crude ~ $100 per barrell) over its lifetime.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

4.3 billion estimate and that was 2012 , they've been looking since then long enough to know whether it's more. With that little compared to http://allafrica.com/view/photoessay/...">http://allafrica.com/view/photoessay/... we don't have enough to sell to anyone else. America is drilling in North Dakota and stopped buying so much from elsewhere. More places are drilling for themselves so less customers, especially for the " oil virgins". http://www.thehabarinetwork.com/the-b...">http://www.thehabarinetwork.com/the-b...

An estimate of what we'd get http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/m..." rel="nofollow">http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/m...

US incidents http://www.incidentnews.noaa.gov/raw/...">http://www.incidentnews.noaa.gov/raw/... "There are thousands of incidents each year in which oil or chemicals are released into the environment as a result of accidents or natural disasters." http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/fea...">http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/fea... They're already preparing for us.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Existing transhipment lanes & cuban exploration mean any inherant risk ALREADY exists as islandboy states. What you're effectively saying is that let cuban exploration continue as well as oil shipping as long as NO oil revenues benefit our own people. That is very false logic.

Of course there will be enough oil for exportation as our country would be unable to consume the amounts anticipated for its own use.

If there was no global demand for oil, there would be no oil exploration. That patently is not the case. Reliance on oil is still a major component of every developed & developing nation.

Unfortunately, immature & ill founded logic is being used to manipulate the good people of our country who may miss out on the most important opportunity that God has provided for us. Amen for citizens who really care about our people to step up and provide truthful, accurate information to counter the false information fed to the unwary. That is true selfishness from the manipulators trying to deny us a better quality if health & life!!

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

There's reason world powers like the US and others outsourced and bought from "dessert people" for so long before they got desperate. Mexico suffered from their waste decades before the gulf accident. They also wanted to dump nerve gas in our waters until Dr. Colin Archer and others called them out which then a global ethics strategy followed. Don't piss where your pillow is.

Even last year , there was no oil in Cuba http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04...">http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04...

Are you saying others have been interested besides this company?

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 6 months ago

We have various oil company representatives & beneficiaries of this deal on here.. That includes various politicians & government representatives, perhaps even paid interest groups.. I say to u all we have heard it before, & @ the end of each glorious deal for the benefit of us here's the outcome.. The few politicians & members of the ruling class get pay offs, the foreigner investors make huge profits, the Bahamian people get the shaft.. The problem we have is poor leadership, corruption, greed & mismanagement, we also have serious societal moral decay & your proposed solution is oil drilling. We are a lot smarter than u think..

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

If you were as 'smart as you think', you'd realise what $50 BILLION could mean to our country. How many hospitals or schools could be built? How many anti-cancer treatments provided? How much of the national debt addressed with no financial outlay to our people.

Perhaps you prefer being given sub standard health care & education or offering a begging bowl to the world bank. I certainly dont for my family or my people.

The valid points raised to help our nation move forward are being addressed by the same empty & emotional rhetoric previously mentioned. I see no intelligent responses but a desire by some marginal elements to lead the wider populace into economic servitude to the lending banks. We are a economically crippled nation at this moment and no amount of rhetoric can hide that fact. Thank God we may have a chance to remedy that through potential oil revenues!

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

That $50BILLION to our country is only on the first prospect. How many cancer drugs could that buy?

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GrassRoot 6 years, 6 months ago

why are the Chinese not interested? to me says it all.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 6 months ago

Philip 50 billion cannot fix stupidity.. that is piss poor leadership... The money would only work if all of our politicians resigned today and were replaced with competent new leaders.. all of there cronies resign too. Then that money in the hands of competent Statesmen would create the type of realities u speak off.. That is individuals who genuinely care for the good of all Bahamian Citizens over there own person greed. There is and has always been great value in the Bahamas, its one of the most beautiful places in the world where many people dream of visiting.. The problem Philip is we have never been a ownership society and the deals made by leaders since independence never placed us in that position to be one. We are in the position we're in because of stupidity. Are u also proposing getting rid of stupid people in leadership, if that comes with the 50 billion I'm with u, otherwise I feel we will have a bunch of idiots blowing 50 billions & we would end up in a worse position because of the destruction of our natural resources.

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philip 6 years, 6 months ago

Thats an estimated $50 Billion to our country from ONLY the first prospect. There are many others which is why i state that oil revenues could have a major impact on our quality of life and position us strongly as we progress through the 21st century.

The issue about incompetence within Govt. is not a new issue or one specific to our country. The only way to address it is through the ballot box but are the opposition really any better? Thats not the point of the current debate so i wont enter into it. However, i will say that better education with foreign exchange stages at the higher levels of such education, may provide us with a higher quality of individual to help run our nation. That and getting more sophisticated structures in place to monitor accounyability of our elected leaders. More affluent nations already adopt such operational models of govt.

One thing the emotional detractors in this discussion may want to consider is that one day they or a family friend may end up in a hospital where a specific treatment is required but unavailable due to cost. This may mean the difference between life or death for them or a life of great pain as opposed to relief. Their arrogance towards the betterment of our nation may not be so easily justified then.

As islandboy pointed out in his post, inherant risks with contamination are already existent with shipping operations & foreign drilling initiatives. There is no reason whatsoever not to progress oil expliration ourselves for OUR people!

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BiminiHomeowner 6 years, 6 months ago

The idea of trusting Oil Companies and the Bahamian Government to DIRECTLY translate crude oil into better hospitals and schools is perhaps the most insane suggestion in this whole discussion.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Again some randomer is telling us we have to bring in a foreigner and it seems they keep referring to arab governing. This is really alarming, no one is going to be persuaded by such instigation. It has been done to other countries before to control their resources. All your hospital mentions also sounds related to Dubai's ambulance donation. In any hospital some one person can have something that hospital doesn't provide and they are airlifted. There's alot of things we should have already which we don't.

Drilling means INCREASED risk . Our whole archipelago fits into the Gulf of Mexico. It's companies with arrogance like this that won't use marine pilots to doc which has led to accidents and such spills. Last time Dorsett said it was under control without even giving an estimate of how much spilled. http://www.independent.ie/breaking-ne...">http://www.independent.ie/breaking-ne... No one EVER even mentioned how much slicks there are when flying over.

Our freedom of information act has not been honored and WE DON'T EVEN HAVE AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT. http://www.savethebays.bs/media/photo...">http://www.savethebays.bs/media/photo... http://www.savethebays.bs/2014/02/04/...">http://www.savethebays.bs/2014/02/04/...

I dare you to patwa , you're not bahamian you impostor so quit saying "our". You're not educated on us because all your examples are foreign.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Then we need to demand more of our politicians. Our decision to drill for oil should not have to be handcuffed by the ineptitude and corruption of our current governments.

You are right, we do need a Environmental Protection Act, and we need our Freedom of Information act to work, but most of all we need our citizens to demand it from our government. They work for us, and both they and we, seem to have forgotten that.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

"Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said crews were able to recover a portion of the oily water off Grand Bahama island but he did not provide any specifics of how much. He said chemical dispersants that break up oil were not used out of concern for its effect on marine life. Dorsett said the worst of the oily mess would be dispersed naturally through wave action and tides. "It is preferable to let nature take its course ... allowing the dispersed material to flow with the natural tide into the Atlantic Ocean where there are no land-based resources at risk," he said." http://bigstory.ap.org/article/bahama...">http://bigstory.ap.org/article/bahama...

This is how they handle what's happened already and we won't even be able to sue the company.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

Well then we need to be improving our regulations and accountability. It's not ok to simply say this is the way it is, we have to be saying this is the way it needs to be. We can change for the better, we just need to push our leaders to do so.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 6 months ago

Philip there is no cure for cancer nor stupidly. What u propose is logical? Sounds great, but what's causing the rift here with the bloggers is the fools administering the deal. If u put clean water in a dirty bottle u end up with dirty water again, same goes for putting clean money into a corrupt dysfunctional system ran by incompetent irrational tribalist individuals. They will irresponsibly waste the money on new homes for politicians, no bid contracts to incompetent politically connected friends, pay raises, new cars, fancy trips, etc.. Look @ our current leader in a time severe financial distress he states "time for a new P.M. residence". This after proposed borrowing 232 million to pay for 9 boats @ inflated cost. He then calls bank as p.m to stop foreclosure on friends personal property & u want to give this individual 50 billion to managed & invest in us. So its not the deal so much as the characters running the deal that makes us feel that we are setup to fail.

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

If our argument against exploiting our oil resources is that our leadership cannot be trusted, then we need to change our leadership.

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

Philip and Bahamianpride, Both of you have valid points on the myriad of issues being considered here. Concerning the risks with drilling I still think they are minimal with regard to the statistical likelihood of adverse events or a catastrophic accident occuring. I took a look at the data on the NAOO website provided above by Kilemwitdakno. Interestingly, of the 2635 incidents they have recorded only 153 incidents involved crude oil leaks or spills. And of these, outside of the ones we already know about such as Macondo or Exxon Valdes, most were minor and little environmental impact. Also let's not forget that oil exploration in Bahamian waters is not without historical precedent. There have been safe drilling campaigns done in our waters over the decades as we have had five wells drilled so far (the latest by Teneco in 1986). There was no impact to the environment as we today enjoy prisitine beaches and as stated previously the technology they had to prevent accidents 20 years ago was nothing like what is standard today. With regards to the comments made about mismanagement of oil profits by the government, there is always that potential but there are safeguards that are being put in place to mitigate this. The Minister of Environment of the previous FNM government, Earl Deveaux and the incumbent Kenred Dorsett, have both stated that petroleum regulations and the petroleum act would both be updated and would include legislation that dealt with how oil proceeds would be handled by the government. In fact both governments have elected to use the Norwegian model, which in my opinion is the gold standard as Norway's sovereign wealth fund (fueled by oil its profits) has grown to a whopping 800 Billion dollars and controls 1% of publicly traded shares globally (yes entire world). One of the main caveats of the Norwegian model is that the government can use no more than 4% of the revenues from petroleum to fund its operations during an annual budget cycle. The remaining 96% is put into the fund that is managed by the central bank. Mr Dorsett has already stated a couple months ago that an identical sovereign wealth fund will be created for the Bahamas. Our politicians are not perfect put by and large they are all patriots (both FNM and PLP) and it would be foolhardy to willfully destroy your own nation. After all they are bahamians like us and like us, have children who they want to insure a brighter future for. Just look at Qatar, they went from one of the poorest nations in the world with an ecomomy based on fishing and pearl hunting to a nation that is now ranked as the richest country in the world per capita after the discovery and commercialization of the Dukhan oil Field. Not many country's of small size has had opportunities like the one that is being afforded us. Norway had one on which they capitalised, and so did Qatar. We have an opportunity now, will we do the same?

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newcitizen 6 years, 6 months ago

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, apart from where our politicians are patriots. Some may be, but the majority, and especially the leadership, are far from it. They are interested in lining their own pockets and taking whatever they can. Their interest in the Bahamas and the people go as far as what can be swindled from them.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Environmental risks aren't minimal when that is all you have. Of those 153 incidents which occurred in the most careful country in the world, each had the same potential to be large didn't they. Of " little impact" compared to what geography. This is shallow water, we must consider that small accidents might spread vastly and quickly. The drillings intended are deeper than usual, over 20,000 the deepest in our drilling history http://www.bpcplc.com/about-us/about-...">http://www.bpcplc.com/about-us/about-... The lit shallow bahamian waters are the last lights seen when shuttles go up. Astronauts stated it's the clearest beaches on the planet. What "safeguards of governments mismanagements", please do share. You must not live here either because you'd be friends with a few "foolhardy" and know first hand that people just last week were suffocating in their homes when a landfill's fire spread and nothing was done. What example is terrorist ridden , terrorist funding Qatar. Major fail, money in the wrong hands right there. What satisfying numbers are you counting, our gov doesn't allocate any profits to go towards anything specific. You guys are the first to mention $50 billion.

You're not getting the just that we living off the water. Should be your first point. We have natural fresh water reservoirs , the world is running out of drinking water too. why pose a threat to ours. Whales have died ashore from sonar blasts have showed up. People hear the booms.

Get them to give us an Environmental Act Now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjSTT...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjSTT...

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

Little impact is my personal opinion as I am unaware of any metric by which oil spill severity is measured or assessed. I deemed them little impact based on my cursory view and my perception that they received limited media attention as I am unfamiliar with the majority of incidents in the report. I agree that all oil spills have some environmental impact however I don't agree that they are all catastrophic in magnitude, or that ecosystems can't recover in a reasonable amount of time from minor ones (if you have any scientific evidence to support the contrary please share). The geology of the Bahamas (normal pressured rocks at depth) is quite different from the Gulf of Mexico (High pressured rocks at depth) therefore the chances of a blowout like what occured for DeepwaterHorizon/Maconda is further reduced. The point I was trying to make is the data you provided suggests that of all the recorded incidents less than 5% actually involved crude oil spills. Of the that 5% most involved spills that were minor based on the amount of oil (in gallons) that was involved. The safeguards I am referring to is the legislation that will speak to how the oil revenues are handled (i.e. sovereign wealth fund, etc). I surmise that this legislation will also cover what liability would be incured by the company responsible for the spill given the unlikely chance that one may happen. We will have to wait until they are published to see what the particulars are. Qatar was used to illustrate the effect the petroleum sector had on the standard of living http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_... The fact there are factions in the country that may be associated with terrorism has nothing to do with the wealth that comes from the petroleum sector. These are two separate issues. Once again I am not stating that the environmental issues are not important, but they must be weighed in light of the potential benefits plus the likelihood of occurrence. Your thoughts?

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

50 Billion is an estimate based on the government getting a 25% royalty because the trap in question is simply huge ( > 1 Billion barrel potential). BPC's estimate is 40 Billion based on a $80 per barrels crude price but this is a low estimate in my opinion as crude prices on commodity markets are now north of $100 per barrel. BPC is being conservative and discounting by 20%. Also there is a very good chance that the trap in question contains much more than 1 Billion barrels as the seismic shows multiple play types at various horizons all the way down to the early Jurassic, which is the target depth. At target depth there are additional stratigraphic traps ( the primary one is an anticline four way dip closure) that was not considered when the estimate of 1 Billion Barrels was given for this structure. These stratigraphic traps are also huge and would add substantially to the oil volume under the structure. So even the estimate of 50 billion may be conservative and lowballing the potential based on what I see.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

You're talking about a commitment to the Norwegian model, without the draft of the bill actually being shown. Trend seems this administration never show the controversial bills. http://bit.ly/1lqANZI">http://bit.ly/1lqANZI

Description of Norwegian model: Norway has administered its petroleum resources using three distinct government bodies: a national oil company engaged in commercial hydrocarbon operations; a government ministry to direct policy; and a regulatory body to provide oversight and technical expertise. In Norway, for example, surplus oil revenue is deposited in a $600 billion sovereign wealth fund so that the country's non-renewable resources can benefit future generations. The fund is managed by the central bank and is responsible to parliament, with the interest used to cover government pension obligations.

Assuming -Our national oil company engaged in commercial hydrocarbon operations: BPC -A government ministry to direct policy: PLP/ Dorsett -Our regulatory body ( not sure permanent) :THE GEOSPATIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (GAC) http://bit.ly/1j4hSmr">http://bit.ly/1j4hSmr -All GAC member agencies already working : Not sure http://www.cbd.int/financial/doc/id42...">http://www.cbd.int/financial/doc/id42... -Bank: Maybe nationally run BOB (ha)

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

You are correct, I was wrong when I stated that the government has elected to use the norwegian model. What they stated was that they were examining various models and that the norwegian model in particular was one that they were studying carefully. They have not confirmed what model they will use, we will have to wait and see. Norway's sovereign wealth fund is $838 Billion (http://www.swfinstitute.org/fund-rank...">http://www.swfinstitute.org/fund-rank...), it has grown substantially as they are heavily positioned in US equities and there has been a bull market going on for some time now.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

Apparently established 2006 http://242studios.com/sflcn/?p=1528">http://242studios.com/sflcn/?p=1528 

This is a related 2013 full presentation from Dorsett ( not on gov site) http://issuu.com/ministryofehbahamas/...">http://issuu.com/ministryofehbahamas/...

This document also breaks down the years of a "Master Plan" that was to be completed by Dec 2006 to start a Geospatial Advisory Committee. If this was because of the Norwegian model, HIA was right.  http://www.protectedareas.info/upload...">http://www.protectedareas.info/upload... So what happen to the protection talks? 

There was an National Oil Spill and Contingency Plan made in 2000 to manage oil spills in territorial waters to minimize damage to the environment and biodiversity under the opposition. Why then was Dorsett's decision to "let nature take it's course" in the boats  oil leak. 

The GAC is not mentioned in Tribune but a local writer noted that this bill of this post is what set up the committee and " Opposition Senator Kwesi Thompson expressed a serious concern last week . “In most countries where they have legislation and this type of infrastructure it is actually driven by the private sector because the private sector is the one that has the expertise with respect to his spatial infrastructure and so we would like to see more involvement by the private sector and that there is oversight by the government with respect to how this information is being used,” he said.  http://jonesbahamas.com/senate-passes...">http://jonesbahamas.com/senate-passes...

So there was plans for a GAC from their last term, and there's been an operating GAC at least since they've been in , all before a bill. Logical. Can only imagine what this means for other affairs.

So Kwesi didn't know of the Norwegian model? Is it the stock exchange supposed to disperse by this model, the small percentage at a time or who does the payouts lol?  

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

I am not sure why Minister Dorsett chose to take this course of action but I imagine that it may be because it is one of the standard approaches to oil spill management that depends on the severity and nature of the spill.

Methods for cleaning up include: Watch and wait: in some cases, natural attenuation of oil may be most appropriate, due to the invasive nature of facilitated methods of remediation, particularly in ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands.[47] Pezeshki, S. R., Hester, M. W., Lin, Q. & Nyman, J. A. (2000). The effects of oil spill clean-up on dominant US Gulf coast marsh macrophytes: a review. Environmental Pollution. 108: 129-139.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

BPC said there'd be a referendum. No talks of it.  Would be a waste anyway. http://bit.ly/1dXntfq">http://bit.ly/1dXntfq

Why did the Norwegians leave this effort? http://bit.ly/1j90cX4">http://bit.ly/1j90cX4

So the only updates to The Petroleum Act ('the Act') 1971 and the Petroleum Regulations 1978 were the rushed whatever that put they together last year for the "clear mandate". And these changes are detailed where? All I see in this is a table of license fee charges LOL http://bit.ly/1fESkMj">http://bit.ly/1fESkMj

I dead.

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islandboy 6 years, 6 months ago

Statoil declined their interest for the three licenses they applied for in partnership with BPC because it was taking too long for them to be approved (they were sent in years ago) and a change in their overall corporate strategy to focus more capital in basins and countries where they are already committed and have commenced operations. My feeling is that the reasons were not technical as a company of that size and with that many experts in house would have never agreed to license an area in partnership with such a small player (BPC) if they did not believe there was great potential in the licensed acreage.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 6 months ago

Both your rational makes logical sense to me.. The mathematics leaves me with no option but to agree logically, but somebody please keep Perry away from the mic he destroys our belief that a good deal is being made on behalf of the Bahamian people.

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killemwitdakno 6 years, 6 months ago

In response to phillip saying that our boundaries won't stop Cuba from drilling in the same area , I've found that Cuba's primary target as of this year Is near the maritime border in our waters. Here's the excerpt:

"In fact, they have either made a commitment or are negotiating commitments for drilling in 10 additional blocks of the area north of the Cuban coast, and they hope to have some drilling started as early as 2015," Graham said. "They are satisfied that these [seismic tests] show enough commercially promising oil deposits that they are proceeding forward aggressively." Their latest target, he said, is near the maritime border, midway between Cuba and Key West. That would push the exploration into deeper water closer to Florida — and increase the risk of a spill. " What is contemplated is an area north of Cuba that could be 10,000 to 12,000 feet deep," Graham said. "It could be considerably deeper. And the deeper it gets, the riskier it is." ( he apparently doesn't know the plan to drill 20,000 ft) http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/22...">http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/22...    Cuba will be allowed to sell 10% with the embargo slightly lifted since they've signed to freeze financial accounts from terrorists  and are "still drilling from some negotiating with foreign companies for about 10 exploration blocks off the northern coast". 

Okay so to me it sounds like this is BPC's ten blocks on their map and what's mentioned in this video.  http://www.bpcplc.com/our-operations/...">http://www.bpcplc.com/our-operations/...  http://www.theprospectgroup.com/baham...">http://www.theprospectgroup.com/baham... So is BPC saying oil is in Cubas water but the rig to bring it up through need to be in the Bahamas side??? So is BPC that last remaining company that's drilling in Cuba???? Are BPC's partners the same partners that Cuba is in talks with? All of that is a BIG piece of misinterpreted and unannounced information. 

Where's a map of our lines? According to their names the ten blocks are Bahamian.  Bain, Cooper, Donaldson , Eneas,  Miami , Santaren ,  Andros , Zapata, Falcones and Islamorada.  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette signed 3 October, 2011 the maritime boundaries between Cuba and Bahamas. The agreement delivers on the Government assurances to protect not only the Bahamian borders but also the extent of the granted exploration licences. 

Is the actual oil ours or is it Cuba's and the rigs are just in our waters? ...

Haaaaa,this gin be bad

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