Coronavirus delays oil-drilling project in The Bahamas
The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has delayed the start of drilling at its first exploratory oil well for at least 45 days due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement, BPC said it expects spudding to start in the second half of May 2020 but no later than early June 2020 to avoid the peak risk period for hurricanes in The Bahamas.
However, the company noted that it has the option to defer drilling to mid-October.
BPC said: “The company stresses that this is not the company’s planning objective, but the company is seeking to develop a prudent ‘back-up’ plan on this basis so that in any credible scenario the company can realistically meet its primary license obligation – i.e., an initial exploration well in 2020.”
BPC does not anticipate the projected cost to change since “considerable effort has been made to minimize up-front commitment of capital to anything other than essential long-lead items, with expenditure focused on bits, casing and wellheads.”
“As announced on March 9, 2020, the company has been able to reach an agreement with the subscribers to the conditional convertible notes agreement to defer the date for satisfaction of conditions precedent to April 15, 2020, albeit access to these funds remains conditional on satisfaction of the noted conditions precedent.”
BPC Chief Executive Officer Simon Potter added: “As a prudent operator our primary objective is a safe well, best delivered by the ability to drill uninterrupted by external events for the period of the drill plan. Such a continuous operation is also the most cost-effective. It is in this context that we have had to reassess the timing for commencement of drilling given the widespread disruption being caused by the global response to the COVID-19 virus.”