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WELL, WELL, WELL - BPC STRIKE OUT: Activists celebrate as drilling finds no viable oil deposits

THE STENA Icemax.

THE STENA Icemax.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Petroleum Company announced yesterday that it did not find commercial volumes of oil after drilling a well off Andros.

News of the failure caused BPC’s stock to take a more than 60 percent hit yesterday knocking millions off the value of the company.

In a statement, the company said that some oil was encountered as indicated from “(logging while drilling) tools, gas chromatography and mud logs.”

“Drilling has now ceased, the well having reached a depth of approximately 3,900 metres without incident, and the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned,” the company said.

“Over the coming weeks, BPC will undertake a detailed evaluation of all technical information gathered during drilling. In this context, BPC will review the appropriate way forward for future monetisation of its business in The Bahamas, in particular with a view to renewal of a farm-in process.”

photo

Simon Potter

The company said its operational activity in the near term will now focus on work in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

Simon Potter, BPC’s CEO, said: “I am proud to say that after many years of diligent effort we did what we said we would do: BPC drilled the Perseverance #1 well safely and without incident, testing for the presence of hydrocarbons in the southern seas of The Bahamas. This was the very specific objective of the well – not a scientific or geologic experiment, but to seek hydrocarbons in commercial quantities.

“In a technical sense, the well successfully validated the existence of oil, seal and reservoir. Together, these factors verify the existence of a working lower cretaceous petroleum system and sequences of reservoir quality within the Aptian, pointing to the overall hydrocarbon potential of other untested prospects captured by BPC’s extensive acreage holding.

“However, at the Perseverance #1 location, the volumes of oil encountered are not commercial. “Perseverance #1 is the first exploration well in The Bahamas for decades, and the data gathered from this well will prove invaluable in providing a modern analysis as to the regional potential of the petroleum system, which, in our view, reduces technical risk for any future/further exploration in this new frontier province. The company will proceed to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the data derived from the well, as we believe the results provide a sound technical basis for renewed farm-in discussions.”

BPC’s drilling began on December 20, 2020 and ended on Sunday, with the company completing its exercise within its projected 45-60 days window.

BPC’s project has faced opposition from environmentalists. Judicial Review proceedings are ongoing. Waterkeeper Bahamas Ltd and the Coalition to Save Clifton Bay are seeking to quash approvals the company received to begin drilling.

In a statement yesterday, Our Islands Our Future, an environmental group, said it greeted BPC’s announcement with a sigh of relief.

Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, the executive director of BREEF, said: “We need a full moratorium on oil exploration and extraction in Bahamian waters. The drilling that took place off the west coast of Andros for the past 48 days caused considerable damage to the seafloor and was a clear threat to our waters and our economy and that of our neighbours.

“It was a risk to the well-being of our ecosystems and our people who depend on healthy oceans for tourism and fisheries, and ultimately our way of life. This will send the message to the world that we take protection of our environment seriously, that we care about our people, and that we are serious about building a climate-resilient future.”

Our Islands Our Future said in its statement: “The recent announcement by BPC now leaves many Bahamians with more questions than answers as to whether BPC fulfilled its end of the ‘air-tight’ agreement with the Bahamian government by beginning to drill and even though the status of the licence fees was not satisfactorily answered.”

Comments

moncurcool 1 year, 9 months ago

The activists are celebrating. Yet, how many of them are bringing any sustainable projects to the Bahamas to provide jobs for anyone but themselves? It cannot just be no I don't want this but yet you offer nothing of benefit in return.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 9 months ago

Agree 100%. All they do is oppose they never offer compromise. If it were up to them we'd never advance.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

advance with on what though? non existent oil?

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KapunkleUp 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh please, I put on my conspiracy theory cap this morning and know that they found oil. They are only claiming to have found nothing so they can secretly extract all that black gold without having to pay the government anything.

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Kalikgold 1 year, 9 months ago

Had to many kalikgold's I see.. we ain't "that" stoopid!

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KapunkleUp 1 year, 9 months ago

That's when I do my best thinking!!!

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newcitizen 1 year, 9 months ago

This has been known from the beginning. The reason they couldn't find a drilling partner and had to pay for the drill themselves is because anyone who knows anything about oil knew there was nothing there.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 9 months ago

If it was known from the begining why would they waste millions to drill?

Man. At least try to make sense... Sheesh...

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

Since @banker didn't repost I'll do it for him, this is the "why" from a month ago:

"Drill away. Dere een no erl. It's just one last gasp to blow off some more stock and make them richer. I bet that in 6 weeks, there still won't be news. They gotta drag this out as long as possible for maximum stock sales before the crash."

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TalRussell 1 year, 9 months ago

BISX | Bahamas International Securities Exchange. The maintenance mode is still on a day after BPC's shares reportedly tanked by 66%? The site will be available soon. Thank you for your patience!

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ColumbusPillow 1 year, 9 months ago

If I lived on Lyford Cay I would celebrate too. Not good news for the rest of us.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

it was never good news for us. only the delusional ran after this dream. the investors couldn't run fast enough. Their pockets full and we left with a destroyed seabed...again

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FrustratedBusinessman 1 year, 9 months ago

This is why I never got up in a huff and puff like so many other posters here. If oil was truly present in any large amounts, it wouldn't be BPC doing the drilling. ExxonMobil or one of the other big corporations would have been drilling a long time ago if they thought that there was money to be made.

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rodentos 1 year, 9 months ago

the only thing Bahamas got is a deep hole sucking everything in now.............

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DiverBelow 1 year, 9 months ago

Is anyone surprised? Every year I am still waiting on the three wise men to bring me gifts. Once the site is accessible. This is a perfect opportunity for the environmental groups to photograph, document, study the effects of the drilling process on the remote local biosphere. Particularly the damages from anchors, support vessels , drilling effluent/mud discharges & even garbage from the ship. We know what a spill can do. There is always some oil underground, everywhere, remember the various Mass Extinctions in our long geologic history? The real question is How Much oil & How Expensive to access? This latter question is the fertile ground for many an investment scam.

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