Late yesterday in wrapping up the budget debate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow reported that oil prospectors Maranco had struck a huge reservoir of petroleum in southern Orange Walk near Gallon Jug.
There is still much work to do before the find can be deemed commercial – that is, if it can even be extracted from the ground. Dr. Colin Young, CEO of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) gave us an update today.
“They obtained some recent results from the second appraisal well they dug in their concession area, South Canal Bank #3. Based on the information that we’ve received, they estimate that the area would cover about 2,500 to 3,000 acres, and that it potentially can hold up to as much as 50 million barrels of oil. However, I need to be quite clear that estimates of oil in the ground is different from oil that is recoverable, it is not a one to one ratio. You can have a case where, as I said, the amount of oil can be high in the ground, but the amount that you can actually get out can be very low, to the point where if it’s too low, then it’s not commercial oil”.
Dr. Young says that the type of oil found in Orange Walk is substantially different from that found at Spanish Lookout by Belize Natural Energy more than seven years ago.