BPC chief slams “half-baked” insurance policy allegations

BPC chief slams “half-baked” insurance policy allegations
Bahamas Petroleum Company's (BPC) oil rig. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) yesterday again fired back at what it called “a series of half-baked allegations” regarding its insurance policies for its drilling activities, noting that by April The Bahamas will know whether it is an oil-rich nation.

BPC CEO Simon Potter said in a statement yesterday: “International and local environmentalist groups had argued that BPC should not be a party to the judicial review action they have brought, a nonsensical position given that virtually all communications and documents issued by these groups refer directly and extensively to BPC.

Bahamas Petroleum Company CEO Simon Potter. (PHOTO: BPC)

“We’re therefore pleased that the court has ruled in favor of BPC by being added as a primary respondent. As a consequence of this ruling, BPC is now legally enabled to request that the applicants provide security for costs, and a hearing for this has been scheduled for February 17, 2021.

“Obviously, BPC would want the environmentalist groups to be held financially accountable if their application turns out to have been without merit.”

Potter added: “Despite numerous opportunities and requests over many, many years from BPC to the environmentalist groups to input constructively into a wide range of detailed processes and documents, they have opted instead to do nothing, and then belatedly and at the last minute try to derail a project more than a decade in the planning and which, in the event of success, would be for the betterment of The Bahamas.

“Their attempts to date have not been successful and drilling of Perseverance #1 continues. By April, we will know if The Bahamas is an oil-rich nation.”

The BPC chief executive pushed back against claims by environmentalist icons suggesting that the company’s oil exploration activities were uninsured.

“BPC has repeatedly advised that it had placed an extensive suite of insurance policies to cover drilling operations for Perseverance #1,” said Potter.

“Insurance was arranged by leading global insurance agent Aon UK Ltd and placed with a panel of insurers comprising of Lloyd’s of London and International Company markets (with all meeting local Bahamian insurance regulations), all of which have a financial rating of A or higher from Standard & Poor’s.

“The policy utilizes internationally recognized wordings and complies with BPC’s contractual obligations, including cover levels considerably in excess of those stipulated as being required by the government of The Bahamas.”

He added: “Ignoring these statements by BPC, which were issued in compliance with BPC’s strict legal obligations of truthful continuous disclosure, environmentalist groups have released various communications designed to cast doubt and aspersion around BPC’s insurance.

“This included the environmental groups attempting to point to non-existent ‘contradictory statements’ relating to BPC’s insurance policy, going so far as to quote a supposed communication with an executive at Lloyd’s Corporation of London to the effect that BPC had not actually secured insurance as advised.

“This is factually incorrect: BPC is appropriately insured and has been for the entire duration of its exploration drilling programme. Moreover, this fact has now been directly confirmed — by both Lloyd’s of London and AON — to various journalists in both The Bahamas and internationally.”