Despite protests from environmentalists to abandon oil exploration in The Bahamas — including a lawsuit now pending before the Supreme Court — Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has proceeded to spud the Perseverance #1 well in the southern region of that country.
The company began drilling on December 20, 2020 with the Stena IceMax, a process BPC CEO Simon Potter said will take between 45 and 60 days.
“This is a momentous milestone for both BPC and The Bahamas, and represents the culmination of more than ten years work by a team who have remained steadfast in their belief in this project throughout — that it is finally taking place is a testament to the application, skill and professionalism of many people over those years,” he commented.
Potter pointed further that over the decade the UK-based company had invested close to US$120 million as team members spent time “bettering our technical understanding, continuing to de-risk the play, and ultimately preparing meticulously for exploration drilling”.
The BPC CEO also commended BPC shareholders for remaining patient, while noting that over the next two months the company will have a better understanding of the magnitude and quality of Perseverance #1 well, He anticipates delivering an update once drilling is complete.
“Our 3D seismic survey revealed structures that have the potential to contain a world-class, multi-billion-barrel oil resource that, if present in the way we hope, could prove to be transformative — not just for our company, but for the nation and people of The Bahamas as a whole,” Potter explained.
In the meantime, as environmentalists await The Bahamas Supreme Court to convene a hearing on a lawsuit to stop drilling in that country, Alexandra Cousteau, an advocate and senior advisor to Oceana, has written an opinion editorial published on CNN‘s website, warning of potential threats to the country’s marine ecosystem and tourism sector.
In it, Costeau used the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 as a case study, pointing out the devastating impact it had on marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and on the US eastern seaboard, including the fallout from tourism.