PM updates on oil drilling status

You’ve heard the Government’s determination to have Belize become a successful exporter of petroleum. But two efforts in the North and South of the country have proven apparently barren. First, to the Maranco oil show in Orange Walk. According to the Prime Minister, it hasn’t been much of a show.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow:
vlcsnap-2013-06-12-19h14m01s26That’s not going as well as we would have hoped. They are having great difficulty getting the oil to flow in a way that would confirm or help them to get a sense of the volume that’s there. That’s in respect to the well that has already been dug. They are now drilling a second well and they are going to do a directional drilling, instead of straight vertical well, this will be a kind of horizontal well almost, and they are hoping that that would help to solve the problem. It is very technical, very involved, very expensive, and it would take a while longer therefore.

As for a no-show of oil at the Treaty San Juan #3 well in Stann Creek, the Prime Minister’s brief answer was “I don’t know.”  Turning to the question of reconstituting offshore blocks for exploration, the P.M. reiterated an intention by the Government to sort out the issue.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow: 
Horizontal drillingI think we have already agreed that we’re not issuing any offshore licenses, until we can upgrade the regime that would place certain offshore areas out of reach. We’re prepared to ban offshore drilling within a certain proximity to the reef.  We’re not prepared to ban offshore drilling in totality. But until we can come up with firm metrics in terms of where the zone of exclusion would be, we have to take back the issuing of options.

On onshore licenses the P.M. had this to say.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow:
All the licenses onshore, we’ve already developed a policy which saw us advertize. We’ve had people applied.  Then the Petroleum Department did an analysis, submitted recommendations to Cabinet, and on that basis a decision would be made.

About the Author