Barbados will begin exploration for potential offshore petroleum resources next year, said Energy Minister Darcy Boyce.
Speaking at a regional symposium on Strengthening CARICOM Energy Collaboration in Trinidad and Tobago last week, he said Barbados had successfully negotiated exploration licenses for two blocks with the Australian-based BHP Billiton and had awarded another block to the Spanish-based Repsol.
BHP Billiton is now in the final stages of the EIA (Energy Information Administration) process, and once complete, we expect exploration to begin within the next year.”
Boyce, noting that Barbados had a substantial offshore petroleum acreage comprising more than 70 000 square kilometers, said that going forward, it was the intention of the Energy Division to continue to market the island’s offshore acreage internationally, with the hope of generating more investment and exploration opportunities.
He said in consideration of the industry’s renewed interest in offshore deep-water exploration, particularly within the Caribbean region, it was Barbados’ intention to restart its licensing efforts within the next year.
He gave the assurance that as a tourist oriented country, great care was being taken in the pursuit of this initiative, in order to ensure the preservation and protection of the coastal and marine environment.