Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right

Posted By: Marty

Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 09/13/11 03:00 PM

“Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right”: Indpendent Oil Expert’s Report Released by the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage

Belize City, Belize, Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - - The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage today, Tuesday, September 13, released the final report from independent oil expert, Rick Steiner on “Belize’s Oil: Doing it Right.”

In the 25-page report, Steiner makes key recommendations including:

  • implementing of American Petroleum Industry (API) and American Association of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards for the petroleum industry
  • amending the Environmental Protection Act to require an EIA for seismic exploration
  • mandating the development of risk assessment for each oil development project
  • expediting the development of a comprehensive National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and,
  • improving transparency and accountability through improved public oversight.

One of the major findings in Steiner’s report is that “oil exploration has occurred across Belize without a comprehensive nationwide zoning/spatial planning.” The Coalition notes that Government has made a positive move in addressing this particular issue and has embarked on preliminary steps towards to develop a petroleum planning framework. However, the framework as it stands requires further work to ensure that it integrates existing sustainable development plans and takes into consideration resource use and existing industries and sensitive ecosystems.

The entire report can be downloaded from the Coalition’s website at

Rick Steiner is an independent oil analyst who provided voluntary technical assistance to the Coalition earlier this year. He conducted a rapid environmental assessment as it relates to potential impacts from the petroleum industry as well as reviewing Belize’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan. During his technical mission, Mr. Steiner made a courtesy call to the Prime Minister and met with the Director of Geology and Petroleum and the Chief Environmental Officer.

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage has forwarded the recommendations to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment as well as relevant technical personnel.


The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage protects our natural heritage by serving as a channel for the voice of the people through advocacy, education, research and actions, which promote the best interest of Belize and its people.

Posted By: Rigrat

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 09/16/11 05:41 AM

I have to laugh.
The heading is Belize's Oil - Doing it right

And then the first recommendation from the 'expert' is to implement API and ASME standards.

If you are going to do it right then you would need to adopt ISO standards where possible which are far more demanding and rigorous.
Posted By: Mike Campbell

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 09/16/11 01:56 PM

Rig, Could you please enlighten us nonprofessionals as to the differences in the standards and which standard was in place for DWH blowout. Was it caused by insufficient standards or failure to both enforce the standards on the part of the government and the failure of the companies involved to voluntarily adhere to the standards without strong watchdog. How would you see that relating to Belize.
Posted By: MichaelJ

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 09/25/11 02:17 PM

Hey - I'm not even in Belize yet (moving there permanently in a week)but this falls within my professional expertise. (A) Yes, there are standards and regulations in place, but whether they are adequate or not; who knows? You get over a mile down-we know more about conditions on the moon, plus we're talking "Hurricane Alley" here, (B) the existing standards and regulations were ignored (bought off?). There were field reports that there was a danger of something happening but they were ignored. The government and BP were both involved. Will the government in Belize do better? (Snicker up sleeve-exit stage left.)

Note that the coast impacted by DWH shows some local impacts in situ, but they are important in coastal protection and ecologically as nursery areas. Those were hit hard and we will see the effects for 10v -15 more years.

If that happened off Belize City or Caye Caulker it could be catastrophic and we would not see a repair in our life time.
Posted By: MangoCreek

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 10/02/11 03:34 PM

How rigorous is it to drill in protected areas?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 10/02/11 06:45 PM

I don't believe the Director of Geology and Petroleum/Chief Environmental Officer or the Minister of Natural Resources give a rats ass about anything but the money that's going to come in from oil and will give only polite lip service to these efforts to stop oil drilling while they sign the permits and permissions.
It might be a good time to leave Belize and invest somewhere else, This will doom the Tourist industry and it seems inevitable. Too bad Cuba is communist, Honduras is still a little iffy,but Costa Rica looks good, Costa Rica has a huge Tourist Industry that's organized and the government is behind conservation and the environment.
Bail now and avoid the rush!
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Belize’s Oil: Doing It Right - 10/02/11 07:03 PM

we are a bit concerned that they are drilling either right thru or very near to the entire peninsula's water supply.
but i am sure they will tell us everything is fine.
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