Barbados BHP Billiton Finalising Offshore Contracts
June 25, 2009 Leave a comment
Barbados’ government and BHP Billiton are finalising contract details for blocks awarded in January, an official from the Caribbean country’s finance, economic affairs and energy ministry told BNamericas.
The company was awarded offshore blocks Carlisle Bay (2,498 sq km/964.5 sq miles) and Bimshire (2,506 sq km/967.6 sq miles). Melbourne-headquartered BHP Billiton was one of three groups that submitted bids in September for the round, where 24 offshore blocks ranging from 790 to 5,025 sq km (305 to 1,940 sq miles) were offered.
The goal is to have a contract signed by end-July, according to the ministry’s natural resources division head André Brathwaite.
The exploration contract licenses will be valid for eight years, which may be extended. A contract holder who has a commercial discovery during the license period may apply for a production license.
The official said a decision has yet to be made whether a new round will be launched.
A number of companies, however, have expressed interest in blocks and the ministry is evaluating each request on a case-by-case basis, Brathwaite said.
There is no offshore E&P in Barbados underway and the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) produces upward of 1,000 b/d from onshore fields. BNOC sends the crude to Trinidad & Tobago to be refined, after which it is brought back to Barbados.
The 1,000 b/d represents roughly 15 percent of Barbados’ fuel requirements, the rest of which are imported.
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