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Barbados to Launch Offshore Exploration Round June 1st

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Barbados' energy and environment ministry plans to launch the country's offshore oil and gas exploration bidding round on June 1, a ministry official told BNamericas.

The launch will take place in capital Bridgetown with a subsequent presentation in Houston, Texas, on June 8, the official said.

Bidding round draft terms along with technical details are due to be released July 2 and a clarification session has been scheduled for July 23.

The government aims to publish bidding rules September 3 with offers to be submitted October-November, said the official, adding the goal is to award contracts end-December.

MAJOR INTEREST

Regarding the ministry's participation at last week's International Prospect & Property Expo in London, the official said the offshore bidding round had attracted a lot of interest.

Companies that expressed interest included Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP), US major ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), US independent Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO), Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell (NYSE: RDS-B) and Canada's Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM).

State oil companies including Japan's JNOC also approached the ministry, the official said.

The ministry is due to participate at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' annual convention and exhibition in Long Beach from April 1-4.

There is no offshore E&P in Barbados underway and the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) produces upward of 1,000b/d from onshore fields. BNOC sends the crude to Trinidad & Tobago to be refined, after which it is brought back to Barbados.

The 1,000b/d represents roughly 15% of Barbados' fuel requirement, with the remainder imported.

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