TIME TO END IT: Environmentalist urges govt to ban oil exploration and drilling indefinitely

TIME TO END IT: Environmentalist urges govt to ban oil exploration and drilling indefinitely
A Ballyhoo Media billboard sign against oil drilling in The Bahamas is seen on a South Florida beach in this photo provided by environmentalist coalition Our Islands, Our Future.

reEarth president tells PM, who said he opposes oil drilling, it’s time to “put his money where his mouth is”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known environmentalist said yesterday that the time has come for the government to implement a ban on oil drilling and exploration.

Sam Duncombe, reEarth president, was commenting on Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) recent announcement that it intends to exercise its right to renew four of its licenses, which will allow for another three-year period for oil exploration.

The site of Perseverance #1.

The company said that following the completion of the Perseverance #1 well and “the promising technical results”, it has had a number of discussions with industry counter-parties in relation to a potential farm-out of their remaining Bahamas licenses.

BPC holds five exploration licenses, covering approximately four million acres. Four of the licenses, referred to as the southern licenses, are located in the southern territorial waters where Perseverance #1 was drilled; and a fifth, the Miami license, is in northern territorial waters.

In early February, BPC reported that drilling had ceased on the Perseverance #1 well, with the well permanently plugged and abandoned after commercial quantities of oil were not found.

Yesterday, Duncombe told Eyewitness News: “Until the current court case has come to its natural conclusion, I do not know how the government could possibly entertain renewing these licenses when there are so many questions that have not been answered.”

Waterkeeper Bahamas Ltd and the Coalition to Save Clifton Bay are seeking a judicial review of the government’s decision to approve exploratory oil drilling in The Bahamas.

Duncombe continued: “We have heard the prime minister and the minister of environment speak against oil drilling. It’s time for the people in Cabinet to put their money where their mouth is and put a ban on any oil exploration and drilling into the foreseeable future.”