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Drilling Ship Sets Sail For Bahamas

THE STENA Icemax.

THE STENA Icemax.

The 750-foot Stena IceMAX drill ship has sailed from the Canary Islands en route to Grand Bahama in preparation to drill an exploratory oil well off the coast of West Andros.

The ship sailed in the face of notification that attorneys are in the process of filing Judicial Review proceedings, asking the Bahamas Supreme Court to scrutinise Bahamas Petroleum Company’s environmental approvals process. Among the points raised is the absence of a proper public consultation process as mandated by law.

“More than a week before the ship sailed, we advised BPC to cease and desist from mobilising until the courts have an opportunity to consider the matter, and warned that a decision to move forward regardless will be undertaken at their own risk,” said Rashema Ingraham, executive director of Waterkeepers Bahamas and member of the steering committee for Our Islands, Our Future.

“We hold that many things about the approvals process was improper, including the decision to switch from an approved ship to the IceMAX without conducting proper consultation.

BPC’s stated aim is to begin drilling on December 15 which means that time is of the essence if anti-drill campaigners hope to convince the company and The Bahamas government to pause and allow the judicial process to take its course.

Fellow steering committee member and executive director of the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF), Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, is confident the effort will succeed.

“More than 100 businesses and organizations are now supporting Our Islands, Our Future and there are 45,000 signatories to our petition,” she said.

“We are convinced that if we continue to stand strong together, we can stop BPC and prevent any future oil drilling in these pristine, ecologically significant waters.”

McKinney-Lambert urged supporters to continue speaking out in The Bahamas and internationally, “and make it clear that we refuse to sacrifice our future and that of generations of Bahamians and others around the world.”

As the IceMAX continues to churn across the Atlantic, it’s movement can be tracked on https://ourislandsourfuture.org/

Comments

tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Minnis claims he has the right as the competent authority to order us Bahamians and our businesses to do as he says or else, but he conveniently claims not to have the authority to prevent this foreign drilling ship from entering our territorial waters. Give me a flipping break!!!

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Dumb question. . .go read some more then come back! Talking fool!

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This ship with its monster drills is heading for our colony's seawaters. She's measuring 730 feet long. She can comfortably sleep up to 220 persons. She can be seen by airliner passengers cruising above from an altitude 40,000 feet. She appears as a floating lighted city at nighttime. Her engines are polluting. never resting from having been running 24 hours each every day whilst anchored at sea.
Her monster drills can be drilling down to depths reachin' ten thousand feet below our colony's seawater surfaces which just so happens as close a glimpse HellsGate down through the seawaters from any lookout point on whatever the colony's of 1200 out island, cays, and rocks.. Shakehead** once for upyeahvote, twice for not?

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Hugodog 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This well is located much closer to Cuba than the Bahamas. The drillship is state-of-the-art, and has drilled safely around the world. If significant resources are found, the nation stands to gain tremendously, giving it another revenue source to bolster its economy, now entirely dependent on tourism. And BTW, Cuba plans to drill in adjacent waters, so why should Bahamas sit it out and miss the great potential of offshore oil and gas for its own citizens' economic enrichment?

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DiverBelow 1 month, 3 weeks ago

So what Protocol are in play to contain & clean up the oil should there be an accident? What are the Protocols for the drilling effluents, lubricating fluids & heavy chemicals commonly dumped in 'normal' drilling muds & procedures? Where are the containment boom releasing vessels & boom maintaining boats? 20, 30, 50, 100 miles away? Where are the skimmer vessels to vacuum up the floating oil? 20, 30, 50, 100 miles away? Where are the aircraft on stand by to spray the dispersal over the slick? 100, 200, 500 miles away? Who is paying for these? Who is liable for the damage to such pristine location? Do not tell me 'They' or 'Govt'; as these entities are still paying for the Horizon debacle of 20 years ago. Don't tell me 'we'll learn as we go'; as they did with The Valdez, still cleaning the oil after 50yrs! The Chinese nor Cubans are going to help... well possibly at a hefty price. ...only the Bahamian DR run fishing vessels & their sculling dinghy's? How idiotic!!

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Hugodog 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This activity will take place much closer to Cuba than The Bahamas. The drillship is state-of-the-art and has safely completed projects all over the world. BPC filed a spill response plan with the Bahamian Govt. as required before getting Govt. approvals to drill. In that you'll find the answers to your questions.

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Exactly, 20 years after the Horizon spill is still being mitigated. . .billions of dollars are still pumped into that area. . .the oil industry knows that if they ever fail to act responsibly the rest of the world will never let that company come in their backyards again to drill for oil!!!

So stop talking retarded nonsense and use ya dang heads!!!

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Newgate 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I wish them the best of luck. Our country can use another means of income. In light of Biden most likely winning the US elections, and how he was part of the team that was trying to open Cuba back up, if he continues to do so, the bahamas MUST do something to make more cash and strengthen it's tourism industry. I assure you, IF cuba opens up, and investors start dumping resources there, the bahamas can have a hard time in 10-20 years. Something must be done NOW.

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The same oil that our environmentalist rowing about drilling Cuba is accused of "slant-drilling" to tief it! These foolish and rich environmentalists don't need the money like the masses. . .they would not give their money to help. . .but they want the "play ground" Bahamas to be kept just like it is for their leisure. . .they don't care about yinna who don't have no boats to cruise like they do!! The bottom line is that if we fail to access or oil. . .Cuba will!

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