PCJ Receives Proposals for 4 Blocks, Talks to Begin

State-run Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) received proposals for four blocks by Monday's deadline to explore offshore and onshore areas in a second oil and gas licensing round, PCJ special projects director Raymond Wright told BNamericas.

The onshore blocks are Negril (2,856km2), Windsor (2,446km2), Portland (4,309km2) and Santa Cruz (1,416km2). The offshore areas range from 1,924-26,780km2 for a total of 104,262km2.

This round did not entail a formal bidding process but only the submission of informal bids.

Negotiations now will begin with those that submitted proposals, with the goal of signing contracts in about a month, Wright said, without naming companies that submitted proposals.

Contracts would entail five-year exploration and 20-year production periods with an optional 10-year production extension. The maximum income tax rate would be 33.3%, although there could be an exemption for a number of years. Excess gas could go to create methanol, fertilizer, urea or LNG, among other products.

According to the government, attractive factors include low entry costs, well locations in shallow-to-moderate water depths, a relinquishment option at the end of each concession period and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and other US markets.

Australian company Finder Exploration and Canada's Rainville Energy in 2005 picked up five and three offshore Jamaican blocks respectively that cover 23,193km2 in total.

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