Anglo-Australian oil and mining giant BHP has obtained "effective offshore exploration licenses" to search for oil in the waters off Barbados.
The Barbados Government Information Service informed this week that the Caribbean country's government gave BHP permission to explore in the Carlisle Bay and Bimshire blocks.
The two blocks are located between 40 km to 140 km southeast of Barbados, collectively encompassing an area of 5,000 km2 in area, sitting in water depths ranging from 1,200 meters to 2,000 meters.
Barbados Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, stated: “While the Government of Barbados is aggressively pursuing renewable and alternative energy initiatives, it also recognizes the importance of diversifying the island’s energy portfolio to include offshore oil and gas development.
BHP optimistic about chances of find oil and gas
“With prudent management, Barbados’ offshore oil and gas sector can offer significant opportunities for the Barbadian people, not only in terms of revenue generation but also in relation to institutional strengthening, capacity building, job creation, and technological advancement. This has been a long time in coming, and the Government is eager for BHP to get started.”
Per the statement issued earlier this week, BHP will begin the first three-year license phase, which includes 2D seismic surveys on the two exploration blocks.
In case of positive results, BHP may then enter an optional second phase of three years to perform 3D seismic surveys and other geological studies, followed by an optional third phase of two years, to drill at least one exploration well in each block.
BHP Petroleum Vice President of Exploration and Appraisal, Sonia Scarselli, said: “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Barbados Government as we commence the next phase of our work in Barbadian waters … this opportunity leverages our offshore exploration expertise, and we are optimistic about our chances of discovering hydrocarbons within these blocks.”