The Bahamas halt all new applications for oil exploration

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Bahamas has stopped all new applications for oil exploration off their shores

The government of The Bahamas have announced that they have stopped accepting any new applications for oil exploration off their shores. The decision was made by the Ministry of The Environment.

The Ministry released a statement saying "The Ministry seeks, by this decision, to maintain and safeguard an unpolluted marine environment for The Bahamas, notwithstanding the potential financial benefits of oil explorations." They also said that they were reviewing all current licenses. The decision has come after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Environment Permanent Secretary Ronald Thompson said that while the ministry had yet to draft the necessary safety protocols, government would frame its future policies around existing ones from other countries.

The announcement has come as a disappointment to several oil exploration companies including BPC. BPC already hold five licenses for exploration around The Bahamas but were hoping to seek for another one. Chairman of BPC, Alan Burns released a statement saying "Whilst we note this short term situation, there are exploration activities including drilling, proceeding in adjacent Cuban waters and significant previous drilling within the company's current license areas that we believe we do not face the same geological risks as those encountered in the US Gulf of Mexico. We enjoy a good relationship with Bahamian authorities and are confident that this situation will be resolved quickly."

The Italian government recently set up an exclusion zone around their shores to stop oil exploration.