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Bahamas Petroleum Still Hoping To Begin Offshore Drilling In 2017

Mon, 21st Mar 2016 12:08

LONDON (Alliance News) - Bahamas Petroleum Co PLC on Monday said it still hopes to begin drilling activities in 2017, but said it will focus in the meantime on securing a partner for its project offshore the Bahamas as it reported its results for 2015.

The company said its pretax loss amounted to USD4.8 million in 2015, a smidgen wider than the USD4.7 million loss in 2014 as some of the company's costs were slightly higher year-on-year.

Bahamas Petroleum said its "singular focus" remains on starting drilling operations as soon as possible, but said it will continue to de-risk its project in the meanwhile.

The company has completed technical and engineering works at the project, which is comprised of four offshore licenses to the south of the country, and reiterated it has until April 2017 to drill an exploration well following the extension to those licenses to mid-2018.

The company's four licenses to the south of the country are Eneas, Donaldson, Copper and Bain, and it also has also submitted applications for five more offshore licenses.

Bahamas is currently preparing the environmental management plan for the project, alongside the community engagement programme.

With production a long way off, Bahamas said it has a "strict focus" on expenditure and costs, noting the company reduced operating cash outflows by 8% in the year whilst employee costs were down 10% from last year.

"Commitment to the project is such that I, along with key fellow executives will be deferring 90% of our salaries to be paid contingent on a farm-out agreement. This further ensures we are working towards the same goal and are totally aligned with our shareholders," said Chief Executive Simon Potter.

Bahamas is trying to find a partner for the project and said discussions about securing a strategic and funding partner are ongoing.

The company reported a cash balance of USD5.6 million at the end of 2015.

"We maintain the strong belief that our project represents a large scale, multi-billion barrel economically robust project that has now been technically de-risked to the point where we consider it drill-ready," said Potter.

"The company remains singularly focussed on commencing drilling activities by April 2017 and, in the lead-up to that, the all-important task of securing a farm-in partner," he added.

Bahamas shares were down 0.8% to 1.81 pence per share on Monday.

By Joshua Warner; joshuawarner@alliancenews.com; @JoshAlliance

Copyright 2016 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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