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Bahamas oil exploration to begin in December

The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has set mid –December this year as a new exploration date after it had been forced to postpone the schedule April date as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Aerial view of Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

“In March 2020, we were within weeks of commencing the drilling of our Perseverance #1 exploration well when we were compelled to defer due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BPS’s chief executive officer, Simon Potter.

He said the oil and gas exploration company, which is licensed to explore for oil in The Bahamas, immediately undertook a range of activities necessary to reschedule activity toward the end of 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021, consistent with our licence obligations.

He said he is hoping by which time “we expect the worst of the broad suite of impacts of the pandemic to be behind us.

“To this end we are have entered into a rig contract with Stena Drilling, which provides a firm series of parameters on rig rate, provision of mobilisation and demobilisation costs, and defines a revised drilling window of 15 December 2020 to 1 February 2021,” he added.

BPC now estimates the total cost of Perseverance #1 to be in the range of US$21 million to US$25 million, a material reduction from the most recent prior comparable estimate.

In addition, the company said it is continuing to assess there to be up to five million US dollars in potential operating contingency costs, and has scoped up a further five million dollars f provisional costs for additional formation evaluation work that it could elect to incur in a success case.

“However, the extent to which these contingent / provisional elements are utilised will not be known until closer to or during drilling operations, and decisions in relation to incurring these items will be based on capital availability at that time,” the company said in a statement.

“BPC has an obligation to drill an initial exploration well prior to the conclusion of the current exploration period of its four conjoined licences in the southern territorial waters of The Bahamas.”

It said that period was due to expire on 31 December 2020, but is extendable based upon declaration of force majeure occasioned by the Bahamian and global response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, with the company having submitted a force majeure notice to the government here in early March 2020, in accordance with the terms of its licences.

BPC has entered into an agreement with Stena DrillMax Ice Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stena Drilling Limited, one of the world’s foremost independent drilling contractors, for the provision of a sixth-generation drilling rig.

BPC will commence the drilling of their Perseverance 1 exploration well mid-December 2020 for a period of between 30 – 45 days.