Exploration Bills Submitted for Second Readings in Bahamian Assembly

Bahamas Petroleum Company announced Thursday that the Petroleum Bill and suite of associated regulations, as well as a Sovereign Wealth Bill, have been put before the Bahamian House of Assembly for their second readings.

The bills aim to guide and govern the next phase of safe and responsible hydrocarbon exploration in the Bahamas and provide the legislative framework to ensure the wealth from any exploration would be optimally invested and managed for the benefit of Bahamians.

After the second readings there will be a committal stage, followed by third readings where members of the House will vote on the bills before passage to the senate for consent. Following consent from the senate, the bills will be sent to the governor general for assent, after which they will become law and be referred to as the Petroleum Act and the Sovereign Wealth Act.

Bahamas Petroleum Company CEO Simon Potter commented in a company statement:

"We are pleased to note that the minister for environment and housing has presented the Petroleum Bill and attendant regulations to the House of Assembly for debate, which constitutes the second of three readings. Yesterday’s reading further reinforces the government’s commitment to petroleum exploration, where a successful outcome could be an economic game-changer for The Bahamas given the sheer scale of the prospects. We look forward to updating our shareholders further in due course."

Oil sector analysts at London-based investment bank Cenkos said in a very brief research note that Bahamas Petroleum Company gaining permission to drill offshore is "still a long way off." 

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