Bahamas Petroleum clears environmental hurdle for offshore well

London-listed oil company Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has received environmental authorization from the government of The Bahamas for the Perseverance #1 well, expected to be spud in April 2020.

BPC said on Thursday that the authorization represents the conclusion of an extensive and thorough process over many years, involving local and international agencies, independent third-party expert consultants, and extensive engagement across all aspects of Government.

The company added that the grant of the environmental authorization (EA) confirmed that the potential impacts associated with the BPC’s intended drilling activities were adequately and appropriately noted and suitably addressed by the proposed mitigation measures outlined in the EA.

The Minister granted the company the right to undertake the proposed activities associated with the drilling of the Perseverance #1 well at the specific location set out in the EA submission. The well is targeting recoverable prospective resources of 0.7 – 1.4 billion barrels of oil.

It is worth noting that the company submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the Ministry in 2012, and it was reviewed by the BEST Commission for the Ministry, and subsequently accepted at the time. Since then, the EIA has been a public document, open to public scrutiny and comment.

BPC submitted the EA application to the Ministry for review and consideration by the BEST Commission on behalf of the Ministry on April 26, 2018.

Since its submission, the company’s EA has been extensively reviewed by independent, internationally recognized consultants engaged by the BEST Commission, been assessed and tested against the guidelines and performance measures, and subsequently revised by the BPC, so as to ensure the EA would adhere to all applicable laws and regulations, as well as international standards and industry best practices.

BPC also stated that it was still negotiating with the Government regarding a final agreement on the amount of license fees payable for the period to 2018 and the two years to December 2020, and in the EA the parties have acknowledged that they will continue to work collaboratively with a view to finalizing this long outstanding matter within the next 60 days.

Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said: “On the way to delivering our single-minded goal of safely completing the drilling of the Perseverance #1 exploration well there will be no more important milestone than receipt of environmental authorization from the government of The Bahamas.

“I am, therefore, extremely pleased and proud to advise that environmental authorization has today been granted.

“We continue to make rapid progress toward the drilling of Perseverance #1, and remain on schedule for a well spud in April 2020.”

BPC has been working with Seadrill to finalize a rig contract for the Perseverance well, but the company still has not revealed if and which rig has been selected.