PCJ Negotiates 2nd Round PSCs, Pending Govt Okay

State-run Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has negotiated production sharing contracts (PSCs) for offshore blocks 1, 5, 8 and 17 from the second oil and gas licensing round that ended July 16, PCJ special projects director Raymond Wright told BNamericas.

This round did not entail a formal bidding process but the submission of informal bids for onshore blocks Negril (2,856km2), Windsor (2,446km2), Portland (4,309km2) and Santa Cruz (1,416km2).

Offshore blocks totaled 12 and range from 1,924-26,780km2 for a total of 104,262km2.

The new government and its cabinet now must approve the PSCs, said Wright. Additional details were not released due to pending contract approval and signing.

Contracts 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.

In 2005, Australian company Finder Exploration and Canada's Rainville picked up blocks in a first licensing round. Exploration activity in Jamaica has occurred in two phases: 1955-73 done by private companies and 1978-82 by PCJ.

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