NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has refuted claims by environmental groups that it lacked sufficient funding to complete its exploratory well at the point of rig mobilization.
The company in a statement strongly refuted the claim, asserting that its Perseverance #1 exploratory well has been fully funded.
“As a matter of fact, Perseverance #1 has been fully funded, including a significant contingency, since the date of mobilization, as is clearly stated in the press release issued to the London Stock Exchange by BPC on January 12, 2021,” the company said.
“Any other interpretation of this press release represents a deliberate and gross misrepresentation of the facts and/or demonstrates a selective naivety as to how businesses operating in The Bahamas (and internationally) maintain the capital to fund themselves.”
Former Finance Minister and Director of BPC James Smith stated: “The lengths the environmental groups are going to in order to distort the facts is frightening, and quite frankly wrong, demonstrating a stark lack of understanding of commonplace business funding practices.
“Like most businesses, at any point in time, BPC has a mix of ‘cash at bank’ and other funding facilities that can be drawn as and when needed, in order to ensure the costs associated with funding are only borne when the money is actually required. “
He added: “It is worth noting that BPC bears all of the costs of the exploration well. The government does not have to contribute a single dollar, but gets to share the benefits of success.
“In authorizing BPC to drill this well, the Bahamian government is exercising its legitimate, sovereign right to find out if The Bahamas has its own important resource, which has the potential to benefit current and future generations of Bahamians.”
BPC began drilling its exploratory well on December 20 and has indicated that Bahamians could learn in a matter of weeks if The Bahamas is an oil-rich nation.
A Supreme Court judge has granted environmentalists leave to seek judicial review of the government’s approvals for BPC to drill an exploratory well in Bahamian waters. Justice Petra Hanna-Weekes ruled earlier this month that Save The Bays and Waterkeeper Bahamas Limited have “an arguable case”.
The judge, however, denied the applicants’ application for a stay of the ongoing drilling exercise.