Barbados could be in line to rake in significant revenue from offshore gas.
Exploratory drilling in an area called Block 14, located on the country’s border has shown potential, with the first set of wells closer to Trinidad having been successful.
On Saturday, the leaders of the two countries, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Dr Keith Rowley began laying the groundwork in the event gas is found in the area.
A non-binding memorandum of understanding was signed at Ilaro Court by this country’s Minister of Energy Wilfred Abrahams with his Trinidad and Tobago counterpart Senator Franklin Khan.
In a statement following the signing, Mottley explained the rational for her decision.
“We believe that given our limited land size and our inability to handle massive industrial development onshore without serious dislocation of our population and our communities, given the fact that we are intent on being able to monetize the resources so that we can secure the future of Barbadians to come, given also our determination and our recognition that it makes no sense to re-create when our family has been in this business for more than a century and it is family with whom we have cooperated from the day we opened the Barbados National Oil Company and given, ultimately, the interest of BHP Billiton…it is the most natural fit for us to take this step,” she said.
The officials explained that the agreement commits to cooperate in energy exploration in the offshore of the respective territories.
Not only does it lay the groundwork for the two countries to act as one in encouraging investment in the area, Dr Rowley explained, but it also reduces the time that could be wasted if they proceed to the stage of exploration.
“It is all good for Barbados and it is all good for Trinidad and Tobago because if we do find gas in the Barbados acreage and that gas finds its way to the market in Trinidad and Tobago, to the plants in Trinidad and Tobago, it is all to the good for us in Trinidad and Tobago because we would have access to a larger resource base and you would have access to a market to sell whatever you find in your acreage,” he said.
The two countries are expected to sign a unitisation agreement and an operational agreement in the coming months. (CW)