Oil Drilling in The Bahamas Message False
I want to assure the public that the message being circulated on social media concerning the selling of oil in The Bahamas is false. This is not the first time that false information is being circulated to incite the citizens of this country but it is completely irresponsible of those creating these false news pieces.
The government of The Bahamas approved the renewal of four (4 ) petroleum exploration licenses for Bahamas Petroleum Company Limited (BPC) in 2013.
In the following year, this administration introduced four new pieces of legislation in Parliament to modernize and regulate the Petroleum Industry inclusive of a new fiscal regime. The Petroleum Act 2014, the Petroleum Regulations 2014, the Petroleum (Health and Safety) Regulations 2014 and the Petroleum (Environmental Protection and Planning)Regulation 2014 were all passed by Parliament. BPC’s activities under its renewed licenses will be administered under the new legislation.
I have spoken publicly in the press and in the House of Assembly about the Government’s position on ascertaining whether there is oil in commercially viable quantities in the country before oil drilling can commence. Under the terms of it’s license, BPC is required to drill an exploratory well in 2017. There are several activities required by law before a well can be drilled in The Bahamas. The Ministry of the Environment and Housing is not aware of any of those activities being carried out.
The Bahamas, because of its geographical location, is a route for international vessels and ships moving between north and south America and other locations. It is very possible that an oil rig can pass through our country on its way elsewhere. However, presently there is no oil drilling being conducted in the country. When and if the exploratory work of BPC begins I will inform Bahamians of it.
If citizens are privy to illegal activity in this regard, they should contact the Ministry of the Environment and Housing with the information supporting the assertion, so that the proper legal action can be taken.