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Bahamas Petroleum Gets Licence Extensions, To Focus Work On Key Areas

Mon, 18th May 2015 07:28

LONDON (Alliance News) - Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC Monday said it has agreed the terms of a licence renewal addendum in relation to its four southern licenses in the Bahamas, a move that should help with its attempts to find farm-in partners, and would also be focusing its broader efforts on areas where it has drill-ready prospects.

Bahamas Petroleum said the current terms of the southern licenses have been extended to the second quarter of 2018, and the drilling start date is extended to April 2017. The southern boundaries of the licences have been formalised up to the Bahamas/Cuba maritime boundary and all work undertaken in individual licences offsets against adjacent licence obligations, it added.

Other licence terms and conditions remain intact and unaffected, the company said.

"This now gives BPC an unambiguous marker for future activity: to commence our first exploration well by April 2017, and a clear period of time in which to both secure a suitable farm-in partner and undertake the necessary preparatory work to ensure safe and responsible drilling operations," Chief Executive Simon Potter said.

The company also said it will focus its work on "areas where we are technically best and most effectively able to capture on-trend upside potential associated with those play-types already delineated in the Southern Licences". It has therefore sought amelioration of obligations associated with the northern Miami Licence and resubmitted existing applications for new licences over revised areas. It said the move means it will focus efforts and resources into areas where it already has drill-ready prospects.

"The company closed 2014 with a cash balance in excess of $10 million. Management continue to focus on cost reductions and efficiencies whilst maintaining an appropriate cost structure consistent with the needs of the company," it said.

Bahamas Petroleum also noted that the country's Minister of Environment and Housing had indicated publicly that the second reading of the revised Petroleum Act and attendant Regulations was scheduled to be presented to the Bahamian House of Assembly on May 13 but was postponed. The next sitting of the House is currently scheduled for May 20.

"We are also pleased to note the Minister of Environment and Housing's statement that the new Petroleum Act and attendant Regulations will shortly be presented to the House of Assembly for debate, constituting the second of three readings. Passage of this Bill will further reinforce the commitment of The Bahamas to safe and responsible oil and gas exploration as a key component of its national energy strategy," Potter said.

Bahamas Petroleum shares were up 20.6% at 2.05 pence early Monday, one of the best-performing stocks in the AIM All-Share Index.

By Steve McGrath; stevemcgrath@alliancenews.com; @stevemcgrath1

Copyright 2015 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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