10 September 2012
Bahamas Petroleum Company plc
("Bahamas Petroleum" or the "Company")
Update on Licences in the Bahamas
Bahamas Petroleum is pleased to announce that, following the recent general election in the Bahamas, it has received written confirmation from The Government of The Bahamas (the "Government") regarding its existing licences on 7 September 2012. The Company has been notified that it is, andhas been, in full compliance with the terms of the signed oil exploration licences, the provisions of the Petroleum Act, and the Petroleum Regulations of The Bahamas and that all fees due thereunder have been paid.
Further, the Government has detailed recommendations from the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission regarding completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/ Environmental Management Plan (EMP) process associated with its future drilling obligation which the Company has already adopted into its future plans. In addition, as a result of this notification by the Government, the Company can confirm that the timing of the obligation to commence its first exploration well will be dependent on the outcome of a national referendum, which the Government intends to hold, on oil exploration in Bahamian waters. Bahamas Petroleum will not, therefore, be held to drilling a commitment well by April 2013, as required under the terms of its licences.
The Company would also like to note that farm-out discussions are still on-going with a number of interested parties and this Government communication provides significant clarity for potential farm-in partners. The Company will keep shareholders appraised of the situation as and when appropriate.
Simon Potter, Chief Executive Officer of Bahamas Petroleum, said:
"I am pleased to announce this confirmation from the Government with regard to the goodstanding of our licences. It is a positive step, which assures the integrity of the licence area and enables the Company to schedule drilling to avoid the 2013 hurricane season and also ensures sufficient time to plan and execute the safest well possible without breaching the terms of the second phase of the licence agreement.
Based upon a recent Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study, the Company already has a detailed well plan in place but this will benefit significantly from this clear input from the Government in terms of their enhanced environmental regulations and input and co-operation with the BEST Commission as well as a positive mandate from the people of the Bahamas.
It is a testament of the Company's relationship with the Government and the Bahamian people that a proper partnership is forming in order to explore responsibly and safely the considerable opportunity presented by the potentially significant hydrocarbon resources in the Bahamas."
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For further information, please contact:
Bahamas Petroleum Company plc
Simon Potter, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 16 2464 7883
Strand Hanson Limited - Nomad
Rory Murphy / James Spinney
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 3494
Billy Clegg / Ed Westropp / Alex Beagley
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 3113