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No Protest 'Ducking' By Oil Drill Ship

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A PROTEST sign against oil drilling.

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Environmental activists yesterday said they were "extremely concerned" that time is rapidly running out to halt Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) after its drilling ship "ducked" their welcome.

Joseph Darville, of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay (Save the Bays), told Tribune Business that his preparation of banners at Freeport Harbour proclaiming the group's opposition to oil exploration in Bahamian waters had been in vain after the Stena IceMAX anchored well out to sea between the Berry Islands and Grand Bahama.

"They ducked our protest," he said. "They had word there would be marine and land protests, and decided it would be better to anchor out there between the Berry Islands and Grand Bahama." However, a source familiar with BPC's plans said there had been no "ducking" as there had never been any intention of the Stena IceMAX coming into Freeport.

Mr Darville, meanwhile, said there had been significant air and sea activity with a helicopter and boats frequently racing between Freeport and the drilling ship to deliver both men and equipment. A support ship was also said to be present offloading drilling gear.

With time now against the activists to stop BPC's plans, given that it intends to begin drilling its first exploratory well in waters 90 miles west of Andros on Sunday - just four days away - Mr Darville added: "We have it in the court. It's up to the judge to give us a hearing but we're hoping we'll be able to get a stay before they actually begin drilling.

"I am extremely concerned but, even at the last hour, if the dictum given by the court is to cease drilling they have to stop. Even at the last hour, or 11th hour, they have to stop drilling if the court dictates such."

The threat of legal action blocking its first Bahamas exploratory well has so far proved no obstacle to BPC's continued capital raising to obtain the finance necessary to undergird its activities in both this nation and Trinidad & Tobago.

The company, in a statement to the markets, totally ignored the Judicial Review challenge by activists in saying its Bahamian well will begin "imminently" after it accessed up to $20m in new funding from a "European alternative asset manager".

BPC, in a move that dilutes existing shareholders, including Bahamian investors in the mutual fund it created, is issuing 375m new shares to this "asset manager" at 2 UK pence per share in return for $10m upfront.

The oil explorer added that it also has the option to raise a further $5m from the same investor "within ten business days after the spud of the Perseverance One well" on the same terms, and can also seek an additional $5m on top of that for a grand total of $20m.

Should it raise the extra $10m from this "asset manager", BPC will have a $57.5m financial war chest and sufficient funding to just about cover both its planned Bahamian and Trinidadian activities - estimated to cover $55m at the top end - going into 2021.

"The company has, as previously announced, a planned 2021 work programme in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname of between $15m and $25m, and a remaining cost associated with the Perseverance One well, net of amounts already prepaid, in the order of $19m-$23m (plus an identified $7m contingency, which may be fully required, in part, or not at all)," it added.

BPC's financial arrangements appear increasingly tied to seeing off the Judicial Review challenge quickly, as another £3m in financing from another source "has been committed, subject to spudding of Perseverance One by 28 December, 2020".

Comments

Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

If some man came into your home with spoken intent to rape your mother, or your wife or your daughter, what would you do? What is the difference here? The "drilling" they will be doing, deep into our mother's womb is no different. We have merely deadened our intellect and our soul, so that we do not feel what we are allowing to happen. Do Bahamians deserve The Bahamas, given what we are sactioning? The intelligent world is fast moving away from fossil fuels while we still listen to the men from England, selling our souls for a promised buck from the foreigner No, now that I think about it, we don't deserve this beautiful place.

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NellyBPC 1 month, 1 week ago

What a disgusting, repugnant comment. There are no parallels here. The government sold BPC the rights to explore for oil and with that, comes a contractual OBLIGATION for BPC to drill this well.

The Bahamas runs on fossil fuel. It's how the tourists get there and it's how you run your cars and boats. Currently all of your oil needs are met by oil that is tankered to your islands at an inflated cost, from a foreign country.

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Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

No parellels. Of course not. Oil is a gift from heaven.

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Voltaire 1 month, 1 week ago

Nelly. That is how we feel. That is how YOU and your fellow BPC gamble and get rich people are making us feel. This is a terrible deal for the Bahamas. It will not help us pay our bills and exposes us to all the risk. Petro-colonialism, pure and simple. It is a rape and a pillage. How many shares in BPC do you have? Don't come in here without declaring your interest. Shameful.

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Voltaire 1 month, 1 week ago

You are also just wrong. Any contractual obligation is null and void if BPC obtained its permits and licenses via a process that violated the law. Just watch and see.

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islandboy 1 month, 1 week ago

Na let me get dis strate. These people want spend 57 million of dey own money to tell us whether we have something that worth 5 Biolion and that’s y’all opposed to this. Dey spending there own money ean like the govment gatta put no money in it and stand to profit if they find something. I hope Minniss dem gat more sense of than to let this go by. Leaving money in da ground ean make no sense. People dem drilling all over the place all round us in the gulf and right next to us down in Cuba, and ain no oils spilling for dem but yet when it’s time for Bahamians to get some money all of a sudden it so risky it shouldn’t be done? I read where they say big tankurs dem always moving through the Bahamas and we gat all kinda storage tank in Freeport so seems like we already taking risks with oil. If it so risky we shouldn’t let the tankurs dem come thru our waterways. So this no drill argament seem just like this whole Covid fraud. Just a way for people with money to stop us poor unemployed people from getting anything. I ain work since March so if the govment gone get some money from oil to help me out I support it 100%. After all if oil so dangerous why BPL using it to tun on the light? Why the gas station using it to make gas? Why da plane using it, to get ya to Miami? It everywhere so can’t be dat bad. Like president Trump say no one even have no proof of what these people calling clymate change. Could just be a natural cycle the earth going through like it says in the book of Ecclesiastes. Anyway that my five cents.

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Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

As some more astute would say, it's ignorance that will take this country down Have a referendum, like the decent thing they should have done in the first place.

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C2B 1 month, 1 week ago

A referendum is a great idea. But it should be done once all the information is available. When the amount of oil, if any, is quantified, then the discussion can really be a cost / benefit discussion. For the time being it's just dooms day vs riches. You have a clear vision of a doomsday as illustrated by your initial comment here. Let's put the riches in human terms also, so Bahamians can vote with all the information available to them.

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Bahama7 1 month, 1 week ago

Everyone needs oil, planes for tourists you name it oil is in it these days.

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themessenger 1 month, 1 week ago

" it's ignorance that will take this country down" You mean lower and more ignorant than we already are? Surely you jest, Sir?

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Voltaire 1 month, 1 week ago

This is a fake Bahamian. "Tankurs". Now the foreigners are trying to pose as us? This is what you think we sound like?? How insulting. See why no one wants yall here?

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islandboy 1 month, 1 week ago

See dis the sam mess. I ain come on here dissin no one and yinna come on here gettin all personnel. I say how I feel but da wibe and no one can change my mind. Y'ALL AIN MAKIN NO SENSE. yall person who call yasef enviranmentalis does act like yall care bout a envirament more than people. dats' why no one does be on yall run. I might not be smart in book work like y'all but i have commin sense like da man say. And I ean no one on here so don care what yall tink. Eryone ain rich and live out west and gern to privut school. Start from Shirley street side a kemp road an stop on wulff road. No one y'all ask wood be in favar a leavin money in da ground. So if ya outa touch with the commin man den come down off ya high horse and find out what we tink. Da people suffering and dis country need money, maybe not yall rich guy who still ga ya big job making big money. Hotel close and ean no tourist. y'all ain tinkin. so stick to da topic and don start dissin cuz eryone differint and have differint back ground.

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Hoda 1 month, 1 week ago

If they wanna protest they can. I hope they ride bike and don’t drive big truck. I wonder if they power their boats with conch slop and fish guts.

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truetruebahamian 1 month, 1 week ago

Why waste money on a referendum? Most Bahamians believe sip-sip rather than true facts.

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ColumbusPillow 1 month, 1 week ago

Islandboy has it figured out. Common sense rules.

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Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

You might be islandboy too. Thank you Canadian opportunist friend of The Bahamas. Notice the fear mongering among all the misguided scientists. World leaders, the head of the UN, all asking for All nations to declare a climate emergency? Why do you side with those on the lowest side of the IQ charts? Oh, I do have an idea. You have a financial stake in seeing sea level rise faster. Why do you always get quiet Columbo when I challenge you to mutually expose our identities? What do you have to worry about?

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Voltaire 1 month, 1 week ago

Of course he is island boy. He asked one of the landscapers around the luxury gated community where BPC has put him up to translate his nonsense into Bahamianese. He is a paid for oil company troll. A Colombus come to colonialize.

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islandboy 1 month, 1 week ago

Mister. tank u for da cumpliment. Unlike these too so called bahamian above at least ya recognize commin sense when you hear it. Don have to be book smart to have a openion there is all kinds a IQ and smarts. I have street smarts which is differint. My grammy usta call me wise when she was alive. We don have to all agree but people on here look like dey does catch feelins easy. I stand by what I say, i tink it good for da country.

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Bahama7 1 month, 1 week ago

Exactly.

Fred Smith will fight any losing challenge to line his pocket.

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Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

Stick with the issue Banana. Drilling for oil is the issue. How long have you known Fred Smith? Or, is your knowledge of him limited to your financial interest in the oil? Just asking.

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Bahama7 1 month, 1 week ago

Oh here he is... more points than a porcupine.

;-)

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Voltaire 1 month, 1 week ago

So first you share Peter Nygard's propaganda, and now you are taking talking points for Fred Mitchell. Boy, BPC is about as PLP as they come! More PLP than Laura by the fruit stand. Listen bro, if you are going to come on here posing as "Bahama7" at least put in the effort that ColombusPillow does. Try and find a Bahamian to vet and correct your statements. Fred Smith doesn't make money off this kind of work. He has many many big corporate clients who make him rich. He does this in his spare time because he likes the fight. And he is very very good at it. Y'all have no idea what you are up against. Bring on the court case! Where is the popcorn?

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Porcupine 1 month, 1 week ago

Banana is simply paid to provoke us and try and keep us distracted. He / she will be gone as quickly as they arrived. Empty suits.

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Bahama7 1 month, 1 week ago

Welcome back voly, I was worried about you.

Have you paid Fred his wages for leading you down the garden path into a dead end? I hope he gave you boys a discount the scoundrel.

He has played you like a fiddle to boost his ego.

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