by Shawn Cumberbatch
There is fresh evidence Barbados most likely has oil and gas worth several millions of dollars beneath its territorial waters.
A Norwegian company contracted to conduct seismic surveys offshore the island has presented the Freundel Stuart Administration and “several” international oil companies with “encouraging” new information about the hydrocarbon accumulations.
And based on the most recent investigation concluded a week ago, MultiClient Geophysical ASA’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Wolden, told Barbados TODAY authorities here needed to test the potential “sooner or later”.
The global oil industry is also said to be excited about the news, which backs up previous surveys done by another Norwegian company Wavefield.
Information from the Energy Division indicated that Government “has forged a number of agreements with multi-client data acquisition companies in efforts to provide oil and gas companies with an insight into the largely untested exploration potential offshore the island of Barbados”.
The latest of these were conducted in recent weeks by MCG, which pointed out today that the survey off Barbados “has been recently funded by the oil industry”, and the company said while “processed data” from the recent probe would be available in September, preliminary information “suggest that there is a working petroleum system in place, comprising a source rock” equivalent to major sources of hydrocarbons in South America.
Wolden confirmed this news and said: “The preliminary result from this new data is encouraging, disclosing structures and leads that might contain oil and/or gas accumulations.”
“Several oil companies have seen the data and are interested in further investigating the exploration potential offshore Barbados. A potential that sooner or later must be tested through exploration drilling of several wells, as the offshore has a complex geology that could contain many different types of accumulations.”
The official explained that “the new 2D seismic is to provide oil companies with sufficient data to do an early evaluation of the potential for finding oil and gas offshore Barbados”.
MCG said with Government’s permission it was able to investigate “the most prolific parts of the Barbados offshore licence area”, which it identified as covering “the Barbados Through, the Tobago Basin and crosses the Barbados Ridge between the basins”.
In addition to the data gleaned from its own surveys, the European company was also buoyed by previous information.
“Barbados is currently producing oil onshore from the developed Woodbourne Field, proving the presence of a working petroleum system. Only one well has been drilled offshore Barbados, thus far. Sandy Lane … well was drilled to depth of 15,074 feet in 6,975 feet of water in 2002, and a low-saturation methane gas in Miocene sandstones was discovered,” it noted.
Wavefield, which became CGG Veritas subsequent to being contracted by Barbados, concluded in its own survey that “the presence of Cretaceous source rocks implies that the prolific petroleum systems of Venezuela and Trinidad can be extended to Barbados and adjacent areas and suggests that deeper petroleum potential is present for offshore Barbados”.
Government is currently working to conclude and sign an agreement with Australian oil company BHP Billiton for that entity to search for oil in commercial quantities in the island’s waters. firstname.lastname@example.org