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Oban Talks Delayed Until Month’S End

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A Cabinet minister yesterday said discussions with Oban Energies over a revised agreement for its controversial $5.5bn oil refinery/storage terminal will likely be put off until month’s end.

Dion Foulkes, minister of labour, told Tribune Business the meeting scheduled for yesterday to kickstart discussions on a revised Heads of Agreement had to be rescheduled. A Cabinet subcommittee, co-chaired by Mr Foulkes, was formed last year and charged with examining the Oban deal following public outcry over its terms.

“We had a meeting scheduled for (today) but some of the principals could not make it, so we are trying to reschedule it for the end of the month. That meeting will begin the process to renegotiate the Heads of Agreement. That was in respect to the economic provisions, the environmental provisions and the legal provisions. They have decided to have those discussions but there was a scheduling problem with one of the principals in London, so I think we are going to put it off until month’s end,” said Mr Foulkes.

The Government signed the initial agreement with Oban Energies on February 19 last year in what was later called a ceremonial signing. The agreement called for a $5.5bn oil refinery and storage facility project to be developed in East Grand Bahama.

The deal, though, has been mired in controversy over the absence of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Mr Krieger’s past legal woes. Mr Krieger also did not sign his own name on the Heads of Agreement.

Last March, the prime minister admitted that his administration had made a series of missteps regarding its deal with Oban Energies in its haste to boost the economy of Grand Bahama.

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