British multinational company Tullow Oil Limited, will conduct the first ever 3D seismic survey off Jamaica’s south coast this month, as the Government continues oil and gas explorations in the island’s territorial waters.
The exercise is being carried out under a Production Sharing Agreement with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) that was signed in 2014 and follows a 2D survey that Tullow conducted in 2016.
Pedro Banks and Portland Cottage
Oil and Gas Manager at PCJ, Brian Richardson, who made the disclosure during a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank last week, said the area of focus for the latest exploration is between the Pedro Banks and Portland Cottage.
The process will entail a survey vessel capturing detailed 3D imagery of rock layers beneath the seafloor to identify potential oil and gas reserves.
Richardson said once this exercise is completed, Tullow will be better positioned to determine whether they will undertake drilling “probably beyond the year 2020.”
60 days exploration
He pointed out that based on the extent of work involved, the 3D survey is expected to last 60 days, unlike the 2D format, which takes two to three weeks.
Richardson explained that the difference between the previous exercise and the latest is that “the 3D survey will be taking a lot more snapshots of the subsurface in order to get a more holistic view of (this, which) will be more reliable.”
He said following the initial 60-day 3D survey, the data-processing exercise could take up to a year to be completed.
Group General Manager for PCJ, Winston Watson, said based on what has evolved, “we are fairly optimistic that there is something out there.”
The PCJ is the statutory body mandated by the Government to execute its energy program for Jamaica.
This involves renewables and facilitating oil and gas exploration in pursuit of new energy sources for Jamaica as well as operating the State-owned refinery.