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#382728 - 05/06/10 10:49 AM Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feathers
Marty Offline

How would you like to wake up one morning in the near future and instead of admiring the amazing orange glow of the sunrise, you see oil rigs in the sea and clouds of smoke puffing their way towards your home, condo or hotel? Instead of smelling the freshness of the Caribbean Sea, you breathe in the stench of crude oil? What’s your take on this? Pleased? Annoyed? Well for right now it doesn’t matter how you feel. It is how Hon. Gaspar Vega and the Government of Belize feel about it. And obviously they are pleased; just read the facts.

On January 16, 2009 a press release from Belmopan Press Office stated that a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) was signed in Belmopan between the Government of Belize and OPIC Resource Corporation which is an overseas subsidiary of the Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) of Taiwan.

Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment signed on behalf of the Government of Belize and Dr. Ming-Tar Lu, President, signed on behalf of OPIC Resource Corporation. The ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, His Excellency Ting Joseph Shih was present for the signing.

The agreement provides for Petroleum exploration for a period of eight years in this offshore region. Revenues collected by the Government will include royalties, share of production, income tax, and 10% working interest.

The production sharing agreement is for oil exploration off the shores of the Belize and Stann Creek Districts - an area covering around 1,800 square miles, encompassing the entire Belize City area, much of the Turneffe Atolls, a part of Glovers Reef, as well as the waters very near to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in the north and Dangriga in the south. It is one of the largest concession areas ever granted by the Government of Belize, spanning a maximum length of 140kms and maximum width of 50kms, near Dangriga.

Director of Geology and Petroleum, Andre Cho, said that CPC would be undertaking deep and shallow offshore drilling, with exploration drilling allowed until 2017, and, production drilling possibly up to 2042, if commercial scale oil reserves are confirmed.

Cho said there were no other PSA’s in the pipeline as the entire country of Belize - land and sea - has been parceled out to companies wanting to explore for oil here. There are 17 other companies licensed, including West Bay Belize, Island Oil Belize, BelGeo, Blue Creek Exploration, and Princess Petroleum. To date, the only commercial producer of petroleum in Belize is Belize Natural Energy (BNE), which declared a commercial find in 2005 and began full production in 2006. All PSA’s give companies up to 8 years to explore for oil, and 25 years to undertake production and pump oil commercially out of the ground. If no oil is found within the 8-year exploration phase, the contract 'self-terminates,' meaning it is no longer in effect.

Treaty Energy Corp. announced its 50\50 agreement with Princess Petroleum Limited on Thursday, April 22. Princess Petroleum is a Belize company engaged in the business of exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. It is also a part of The Princess Group International, which is engaged in the development of Hotels, Casinos, and other Real Estate ventures throughout South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Princess received one of 17 concessions from the government of Belize to explore for oil and natural gas. As part of the joint venture, Treaty will have the right to explore for oil and gas on a total of 2,000,000 acres. The concession consists of 1,800,000 acres of off shore exploration, and 200,000 acres of onshore exploration.

Treaty has engaged a highly respected geoscientist to oversee the taking of soil samples in the best areas proved by satellite and test the samples to determine where the hydrocarbons are and to select a drill site. This geoscientist will come to Belize in early May 2010 to do soil samples and other studies needed to select the first well site. Treaty intends to start drilling its first well no later than July 1, 2010, plans to search for oil in an area almost 10,000 acres off the southern highway.

In the north, Perenco Belize Limited has been awarded a license for oil exploration onshore and offshore. The first block covers 3,250 square kilometers of land and sea in the Corozal, Orange Walk, and Belize Districts and the second mostly-offshore block covers 1,170 square kilometers.

Joining Perenco is Northern Spirit Resources Inc., who has been granted rights to explore over 16 blocks that range 128,000 acres in the northwest corner of the Orange Walk District, and twelve blocks that include 100,324 acres in the north-central, mid-western parts of Belize.

We take it back. It does matter how you feel and here at Ambergris Today, we have received numerous call and visits of persons, associations and organizations expressing utmost disapproval, disgust, even anxiety about the enormity of this agreement and what it could mean to Ambergris Caye, as well as Glover’s Reef and Turneffe Atolls. We’re sure this is not the end of this…

Ambergris Today

#382729 - 05/06/10 11:21 AM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feathers [Re: Marty]
Peter Jones Offline
Is it true that geologists have concluded that there is likely to be oil under Lighthouse Atoll, so that exploratory drilling may start soon?

#382730 - 05/06/10 12:34 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feathers [Re: Peter Jones]
Katie Valk Offline
Start writing letters Minister of Natural Resources and the Leader of the Oppostion, John Briceno, and let them know how you feel about this issue.
Belize based travel specialist

#382731 - 05/06/10 01:17 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feathers [Re: Katie Valk]
Barbara K Offline
Unbelievable. Could anything be worse than this....with a huge spill currently causing catastrophe only a "few" miles away in the Gulf???? What are they possibly thinking? Talk about killing the golden goose!

#382732 - 05/07/10 12:03 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: Barbara K]
Marty Offline
Princess and Treaty Energy oil and gas exploration area covers 2 million acres

Two major international companies, Princess Group International (through Princess Petroleum Limited in Belize) and Treaty Energy Corporation, headquartered in Texas, USA, have entered into a joint venture agreement to explore 1.8 million acres of offshore territory of Belize, just east of the Belize Barrier Reef, and 200,000 acres onshore in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts.

The prospects and consequences of offshore oil drilling will no doubt spark a fierce debate in Belize, especially in light of valuations of the reef, which has exceeded a billion dollars in annual worth.

The diagram Amandala has created to demonstrate the concession areas shows that the offshore plot runs right below Belize’s maritime frontier with Mexico, at the Boca Bacalar Chico, running right, east of Ambergris Caye and its tourist capital, San Pedro, and right along the highly prized reef system. The concession area also covers a significant portion of the Turneffe Atoll and the Lighthouse Reef. The plot ends just north-east of Glovers Reef.

The onshore concession blocks cover an area west of Independence and Big Creek, in the east, almost connecting with a separate plot spanning the Big Falls, San Antonio area in Toledo, north of the high-traffic border village of Jalacte, along the Belize-Guatemala border.

Director of Petroleum, Andre Cho, told Amandala, when we asked him why not make these reef areas off-limits, that the decision would be up to Cabinet or policy makers in government to reserve certain areas and make them off-limits to petroleum drilling. Every square inch of Belize can be parceled out, said Cho, “...up to your backyard.”

Cho noted that any company permitted to explore for petroleum in Belize still has to get the requisite permits from the Forest Department, the Department of the Environment, and other government entities. The parties would have to apply to DOE for permits, which may require the company to conduct an environmental impact assessment, Cho also explained.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow told Amandala that the time has come to rethink the granting of petroleum concessions along those environmental lines. The existing concession areas, said Barrow, were inherited from the former administration. Going forward, said Barrow, government should look at excluding sensitive areas from petroleum concessions.

He added that as companies proceed to work their concessions, they must get the proper permits and environmental clearance.

“Government would use those mechanisms to ensure that nothing happens that is environmentally prejudicial,” he added.

A Marketwire report coming out of Houston, Texas, on April 22, notes that the partners, Princess Petroleum and Treaty Energy, are targeting the 10,000 acre bloc in south central Belize for its first well. “This site is located off the Southern Highway, which provides quick access to ports in Punta Gorda and Belize City,” states the report.

Another Marketwire report published this week points to satellite imagery that the report suggests signals possible hydrocarbon and methane gas presence.

Says the April 22 report: “Most of the offshore areas in Treaty’s concession area are in shallow water, and many locations showing hydrocarbon deposits have small formations which make it very economical to drill in terms of offshore drilling costs.”

Treaty’s announcement furthermore proclaimed, “We believe that this business opportunity has put our company on the launch pad to major growth as a significant player in the oil and gas industry.”

The Irish-controlled Belize Natural Energy, in joint venture partnership with CHx of the US, was the first to declare a commercial oil find in Belize back in 2005.


#382733 - 05/07/10 12:21 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: Marty]
Phil Offline
Perfect. With our trade winds coming from the NE any offshore spill is guaranteed to wreck all three atols, every Caye and the entire coastline of the Whole Country.

#382734 - 05/07/10 12:29 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: Phil]
Peter Jones Offline
But a lot of money will have been made by some people. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.....

#382735 - 05/07/10 01:00 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: Peter Jones]
Diane Campbell Offline
*&^%$#$ !!!!!

#382736 - 05/07/10 01:17 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: Diane Campbell]
elbert Offline
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#382737 - 05/07/10 03:52 PM Re: Offshore Oil Exploration Starts Ruffling Feath [Re: elbert]
Cayemen Offline
This will impact the real estate market on a bigger scale.
This will prevent tourist from coming to Belize.

If there is any incident, then we know for sure whether the BDF not even the coast guard is prepared to handle it.
The tourism industry and real estate will go belly up down the river together with the poor belizean people.

As soon as they start production I will leave this country.
Belize Real Estate Listings BREL

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