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October 23, 2012


Bob Knaus

"The reality is that experts have long believed that large quantities of oil and gas lie beneath the Bahamian seabed."

Not quite true. The Bahama banks have been extensively drilled by the oil majors, but mostly to understand their geology and not to find any oil. The Bahama banks are modern active formations which correspond to many fossil formations around the globe containing oil. Knowledge about the Bahama banks helps oil explorers do a better job of finding oil elsewhere.

The key difference is that these fossil formations have an impervious cap overlaying them which traps volatile hydrocarbons. In the Bahamas, any gas and oil present in the banks simply bubbles away. There are no impervious layers between the basalt floor and the surface.

The situation is different where BPC wants to drill. There the Cuban trench sucks surface rock into the earth's mantle, and it is possible for hydrocarbons to be trapped.

Do not look for oil drilling all over the Bahamas. There are only a few spots along the southern fringe which are suitable.

larry smith

In the 70s I was friendly with a leading Miami-based petroleum geologist named George Winston who was working on oil projects in the Bahamas. I based that comment on my conversations with him and others. The Blake Plateau is also considered a potential oil province. There is also a licence that has been applied for on Long Island.

Rob Taylor

When will the real people of the Bahamas get a chance to invest in this project? Shouldn't BPC list on the local BISX to give that opportunity as I have been reading about on the companies website?

Joseph Turner

The Bahamas is predicted to have a $5bn deficit in 2013, 60% of our GDP... People blow the environmental set-backs way out of proportion... 99% of wells don't have any issues whatsoever... The Transocean blowout in the Gulf of Mexico has been a HUGE lesson to every oil field operator around the globe. I hope that we can push this through in the referendum... That way we can push our country into the modern world. I think people should start reporting on the positive facts of oil production rather than the whole Armageddon approach


do we need a referendum on this and on gambeling. cant we just rely on our inteligent "leaders" to do the "right" thing?

philip pophalos

The country's reliance on tourism etc obviously isn't working to address the budgetary deficit we find ourselves in. There's no forseeable way out of our predicament without oil revenues introduced into the equation.

The quote in your article "development of a 2 billion barrel oil field at a 25 per cent royalty level would generate some $30 billion for the Bahamas over a 10-year period - or twice the nation's current budget spend every year for a decade" says it all really, although i wonder how many people will fully comprehend the fiscal situation we're in when voting in the referendum.

There is only one practical way ahead, but will the people see that or be swayed by emotional sentiment, most of which may be based on environmental concerns already addressed by Bahamas Petrolum's environmental impact study & safe operating practice procedures.

larry smith

BP has been locked in months-long negotiations with the US government and Gulf Coast states to settle billions of dollars of potential civil and criminal liability claims resulting from the Macondo blowout.

The company is now expected to plead guilty to criminal misconduct through a plea agreement.

The US Department of Justice said "reckless management" of the Macondo well "constituted gross negligence and willful misconduct", which it intended to prove at a pending civil trial set to begin in New Orleans in February 2013. No criminal charges have been filed yet.

"That such a simple, yet fundamental and safety-critical test could have been so stunningly, blindingly botched in so many ways, by so many people, demonstrates gross negligence," the government said in its August filing.

Negligence is a central issue to BP's potential liability. A gross negligence finding could nearly quadruple the civil damages owed by BP under the Clean Water Act to $21bn in a straight-line calculation.

BP estimates it will cost $7.8bn to resolve litigation brought by over 100,000 individuals and businesses claiming economic and medical damages from the spill.

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