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#382798 - 06/04/10 02:33 PM Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions?
Marty Offline

Govít may contemplate moratorium on further offshore oil concessions

Other than Belize Natural Energy, no other company has struck oil in commercial quantities. There is a veritable chase similar to that of the California Gold Rush and prospectors have bought chunks of concessions hoping to one day see the slick of sweet black crude oil. But the environmental community has been focusing on the perils that come with a budding oil industry. APAMO, OCEANA, and COLA have formed a green reef type of coalition against offshore drilling. Earlier in the week, they made a joint presentation to the Belize Tourism Industry Association, asking industry stakeholders, hoteliers, tour guides, and fishermen, to join the coalition. All indications are that the B.T.I.A. is leaning towards joining the group. Initially Prime Minister Dean Barrow had rejected the idea of a ban, but today before he departed for Miami he told News Five that he would take seriously the concerns of the green reef coalition.

Jose Sanchez

ďSome NGOís are asking for a moratorium or a ban on offshore drilling. They are asking the BTIA to join them. The BTIA intends to respond by the eight, World Ocean Day. Does that concern you? Will it make a difference?Ē

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

ďNo, no. It may make a difference. I continue to say while what is happening in the states must give all of us pause for thought, I donít think it means you just throw up your hands and say thatís it, there can never be any possibility of offshore drilling. What it does do is to force all of us the NGOís the people in society and government to find out much more than we know about what the procedures would be. What the conditions would have to be put in place to give us the level of comfort that we all require. At the end of the process perhaps the science and the empirical evidence will convince us that nothing is risk free. In fact it would be impossible to minimize the risk that they would be comfortable. If we reach that point, the government will certainly have to, I think, contemplate a moratorium on further concessions for offshore drilling. The trick then would be what happens to the concessions that had already been giving. People have in fact made some investments. It will cost us in terms of damages, in terms of compensation but we cross that bridge when we get to it. So if I could recap Jose, it seems to me itís a wide open debate, I certainly am not going to be premature and simply declare surrender in terms of those who want a pronouncement from now, I wonít do that. But I perfectly understand the gravity of the issue and how very much we have to weigh everything in the balance and try to make the right decision that will not see us likely foreclose on the possibility of likely further oil discovery that can help this country move forward, while at the same time recognizing unless we can have certain assurances, the cost benefit analysis shows it is not worth continuing.Ē

Next week on the occasion of World Ocean Day, the green reef coalition will have a public forum at the Radisson to expose the dangers of oil spills.

Channel 5

#382799 - 06/08/10 04:24 PM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions? [Re: Marty]
Peter Jones Offline
What good will a moratorium do, when they've already issued so many permits?

#382800 - 06/08/10 04:30 PM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions? [Re: Peter Jones]
seashell Offline
US Gov't has put the brakes on offshore drilling, regardless of permits or licences issued, regardless operations already commenced.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#382801 - 06/08/10 04:55 PM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions? [Re: seashell]
Peter Jones Offline
The US government has a little more muscle than the Belizean equivalent, not to say perhaps rather more backbone.

#382802 - 06/08/10 04:58 PM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions? [Re: Peter Jones]
seashell Offline
I was merely pointing out that a moratorium on drilling can happen regardless that permits and licences have been issued.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#382803 - 06/08/10 05:18 PM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions? [Re: seashell]
Peter Jones Offline
And I was pointing out that in Belize I don't see that happening. A permanent moratorium would trigger compensation, and I don't see the Belize government rushing to do that smile

#382804 - 06/09/10 02:54 AM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions [Re: Peter Jones]
Mike Campbell Offline
I disagree with paying compensation. Would you give a land speculator compensation when he buys something he cannot legally build on and gets caught or he subdivides too small and his purchasers cannt get building permits because of law (master plan ) change? I doubt that the US is paying compensation for suspending drilling.

#382805 - 06/09/10 04:26 AM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions [Re: Mike Campbell]
Peter Jones Offline
I don't know of course, but I would suspect that if these people had to pay for permits that were then unilaterally withdrawn they'd be queuing up outside the courts to get their money back. The same people who received the money for the permits then withdrew them.

#382806 - 06/09/10 07:16 AM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions [Re: Peter Jones]
seashell Offline
A moratorium is a temporary suspension or delay, not an absolute loss of what has been permitted (or leased, as we often call it up here), ergo, no money to be returned, unless and until completely rescinded.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#382807 - 06/09/10 07:35 AM Re: Moratorium on further offshore oil concessions [Re: seashell]
Peter Jones Offline
I'm well aware of that, but when a "privilege" is taken away you don't necessarily know whether that will be temporary or permanent. A prudent business would take steps immediately to protect its investment.

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