Bahamas Petroleum Company drilling permits renewed
(Reuters) – Bahamas Petroleum Company Plc said its oil drilling permits were renewed by the newly elected government of Bahamas, ending months of speculation that they would not be extended.
The company, whose portfolio comprises five exploration licences in the Bahamas, has been dogged by uncertainty over the renewal of it licences as politicians in the region use oil exploration as a rallying point.
The licenses expired in April amid media reports that they would not be renewed.
The new government intends to hold a national referendum on oil exploration in Bahamian waters, the company said in a statement.
Drilling a well would depend on the outcome of the referendum, it said. As a result, it will not be required to drill a well before April 2013 as was required under the terms of its original licences.
“It is a positive step, which assures the integrity of the licence area and enables the company to schedule drilling to avoid the 2013 hurricane season,” Chief Executive Simon Potter said.
Shares in Bahamas petroleum closed at 6.5 pence (US$ 1.03) on Friday on the London Stock Exchange.