Government will soon be awarding offshore drilling licences to BHP Billiton for the offshore blocks Carlisle Bay and Bimshire, as Government presses ahead with efforts to explore its untapped natural resources.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the recent debate in the House of Assembly and the subsequent passing of the Offshore Petroleum Act 2007-30, and the Offshore Petroleum Taxation Act, 2001-31, had paved the way for the exploration of Barbados’ natural resources.
“It is expected that these acts, when proclaimed, will usher in the development of a new era in the utilisation of Barbados’ untapped natural resources,” Stuart told the gathering on hand for the launch of Energy Week at Hilton Barbados.
He further stated that the legislation had been amended to make provision for direct negotiations with international oil companies and avoid having “recourse to a licensing round if the government so chooses”.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that Barbados establishes the appropriate structures necessary to ably manage the establishment of an offshore petroleum sector,” Stuart added.
He pointed out that based on the projections of the experts, there was evidence to support the existence of hydrocarbons in our offshore petroleum acreage.
He disclosed: “The Government of Barbados has received several unsolicited offers from a number of companies to purchase seismic data as well as to undertake speculative seismic surveys in the area.”
The Prime Minister said the process would involve developing and utilising the appropriate tools to manage health, safety and the environment as well as for the effective and efficient managing of “Government’s take of the oil and gas profits”.