Jamaica's minister for energy wants to attract a US oil major to explore for billions of barrels of oil that waters around the Caribbean island may be hiding.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Philip Paulwell has asked the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) to assist in attracting a major US drilling company to explore for offshore oil. The minister said that there are "great prospects for striking commercially viable oil offshore Jamaica (which now) appears more certain, based on the data collected to date, indicating that there could be as much as 10 billion barrels of reserves in the Walton Basin."
Addressing AMCHAM's 'Private Sector Forum on Energy' in Kingston, Paulwell said that despite the cynicism that Jamaica’s oil exploration project has faced, "industry experts are actually very optimistic about our prospects and Rainville has advised that they have some big players looking at our waters with significant interest."
A subsidiary of Canada's Sagres Energy was recently granted a four-month extension to its right to explore and develop Jamaican Blocks 9, 13 and 14 while it seeks a drilling partner in its own quest for oil offshore Jamaica.
Paulwell argued that interest from one of the major operators will give a positive fillip to "our oil and gas exploration project that unfortunately stalled over the past four years."
Paulwell's request for help with the search for Jamaican oil comes after the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said last month that it was in discussions with a number of Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, in anticipation of increased drilling activities in the region.
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