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#480153 - 12/18/13 10:07 AM Whatever happened of Treaty Belize Energy?
Marty Offline

Along with the drilling at San Juan and its promises to the community?

In May of this year, Treaty Belize Energy went full steam ahead with oil drilling operations in the south at San Juan near Independence. That was despite a court ruling declaring that the license to the oil company was null and void. Fighting a public relations nightmare, the company made big and attractive promises to residents who would have been affected. There was talk of electrification of the village’s water supply system, road upgrades and even the construction of a new police station. Well, it is six months later and News Five’s Isani Cayetano returned to San Juan only to find that the promises were just that. 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Earlier this year, residents of San Juan and Cow Pen, through their village council, signed onto an agreement with representatives of Treaty Belize Energy concerning a number of initiatives to develop the community.  The social improvement project, including the electrification of the water pump system, says chairman Zabdiel Martinez, was to have been carried out regardless of an oil find in the twin villages.  It has been six months since and none of the commitments in the agreement have been honored.  In fact, the company failed to find oil and has cancelled operations at the drill site.

Zabdiel Martinez

Zabdiel Martinez, Village Chairman, Cow Pen/San Juan

“Our people felt that the company has failed us and we tried to continue negotiations with them as to at least get some of the projects.  But at the end the company didn’t comply with none, with none.  They diverted some, which as I said the last time they did provide a little bit for the school, a little bit of funds for the school which was minimal funds for the flooring of one of the classrooms.  But compared to the amount of projects that we signed up and agreed for it was nothing.”

San Juan Bosco Roman Catholic Primary school is the only elementary learning institution in the community.  With an enrolment of approximately two hundred students, the school’s management, as part of the agreement with Treaty, requested the installation of a computer lab.  That promise has also been broken.

Zabdiel Martinez

“Up to now we still feel that that was a total failure what they have promised us.  As you can see, they have left now and nothing was done.”

Treaty, as we understand it, was contracted by Princess Petroleum, the concession holder for that block within the Stann Creek District, to conduct exploratory work at three sites; namely: San Juan One, Two and Three.  According to Andre Cho, Director of Geology and Petroleum, the company has begun its withdrawal from the area.

Andre Cho, Director of Geology & Petroleum

“Treaty, who they had hired to operate and carry out exploration work for them, they are, Princess, I believe, they are finalizing their arrangement with Treaty and so we’re waiting on that.  But they’ll plug and abandoned the three wells and then move on with other exploration work.”

Isani Cayetano

“Was there ever an issue on the part of the Geology & Petroleum Department with regards to the security and the relevant measures therein being taken by Treaty to secure San Juan Two and Three?”

Andre Cho

Andre Cho

“In regards to drilling or the protection of the ground water?”

Isani Cayetano

“Both.”

Andre Cho

“Okay.  In the beginning Treaty’s drilling operations were not up to industry standards and we had asked them to stop and bring everything up to standard, which they did.  And we had worked closely with the Department of Environment too to ensure that they were carrying out operations according to their requirements.”

While those standards were later met, the companies, in this case Treaty and its contractor, have all but neglected the agreement with the village council.  In fact, the council wasn’t even given notice of the withdrawal.

Zabdiel Martinez

“Since I teach at the school I was unable to come the day that they were going, I came on the evening and then I said, “but what happened to all the machines that were here.  All the machinery has gone.”  And they told me well the company just decided to pick up and go.  Apparently they have a problem with the drilling.  Some problem they met and then they were unable to, they were not successful.  They didn’t find oil.”

Despite the fact that many of the past employees of the company refused to comment on record, they too are disgruntled.  In speaking with one worker, he told News Five that the company still owes them for work done.  Like them, Martinez also feels slighted because he gathered the support of the villagers to green light the exploratory work.

Zabdiel Martinez

“When they came they were behind us.  They were behind us to sign the agreement if we were going to give them permission to drill and all that.  All they needed was the signature and they just forget about all the agreement that we had at the initial moment that we signed.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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#480161 - 12/18/13 10:31 AM Re: Whatever happened of Treaty Belize Energy? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

There is little update on drilling by Maranco Energy Belize

Since announcing a promising oil discovery in June, there has been much talk about oil in the northwest corner of the Orange Walk District.  News of the encouraging show was also used by the prime minister as a carrot during negotiations with the unions over a much delayed salary adjustment.  But speculation of the favorable breakthrough and what it means for the country, if found in commercial quantity, has subsequently died down.  Maranco Energy Belize, the concession holder of that particular block where the South Canal Bank-One Exploration Well is located, has not thrown in the towel despite experiencing a few snags in the later phase of the operation.  According to Director of Geology and Petroleum, Andre Cho, information from the find is still being gathered and the company expects to proceed with its work in the near future.

Andre Cho, Director of Geology & Petroleum

“They have drilled one appraisal well and they two additional appraisal wells to be drilled. They recently concluded monitoring sorry of the pressure in the well; in the second well…the first appraisal well. With that they will analyze those results and move forward with drilling the second and the third appraisal well and test those and try and calculate how much oil is there and how much can be produced and therefore if it is commercial.”

Reporter

Andre Cho

“A couple of months ago, when it came on the news that there was a favorable oil find in that La Seca Area, several weeks later when we did an update, we were told that there were some technical issues with regards to either the silt or the sediment or something that was clogging the pipeline or whatever was being extracted. Can you provide some explanation or clarity on that?”

Andre Cho

“Well what they did is that they tested the formation hat has oil and it is a rock that we call dolomite and it is tight. The sporocity is fair, but the probability is very low so the oil cannot flow through the rock. So they ran some tests—some production tests on the formation to see what can be produced.”

Channel 5


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