Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Mission to discover commercial quantities of oil in Jamaica intensifies

Published:Friday | March 24, 2017 | 12:20 AMJason Cross
Dr Andrew Wheatley (left), minister of science, technology, energy and mining, and Russell Hadeed, chairman of Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, boarding the Harrier Explorer seismic vessel during a tour of the oil and gas exploration ship at Port of Kingston Wharves yesterday.

A hunt to find commercial quantities of oil and gas off Jamaica's shores is the latest mission of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), which has Science Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Wheatley quite optimistic.

Wheatley, who was taken on a tour yesterday of the Harrier Explorer, a seismic vessel, in the Kingston Harbour, hinted that if 2D surveys conducted by Tullow Jamaica Ltd in the next few days produced the slightest result that oil in great quantities exists around Jamaica, great economic strides would come along.

Tullow Jamaica is currently working alongside the PCJ to see the extent to which oil may exist along Jamaica's coast, particularly in areas between Blower's Rock at Pedro Banks and the offshore seas of Clarendon.




"It is very exciting for Jamaica, and the prospects are quite encouraging. I think that having got to this stage, it speaks volumes as to what the future will hold. We don't want to be presumptuous and say that we are 100 per cent sure that we have appreciable amounts of gas and oil out there, but the data has been encouraging, and it has brought us to this stage," Wheatley told journalists.

Eric Bauer, new venture operations and external affairs manager at Tullow, said that soil sampling surveys took place last year, which gave them a strong indication that oil exists, but the quantity is the uncertain element.

"So far, we have seen a successful 2D operation in the eastern part of our block, and that has brought us to a more encouraging area, which is right at the Pedro Bank. There is a very slight sheen from a natural seething, and that tells us that there is a potential for a source kitchen. The source kitchen would be used to generate the oil that would fill a reservoir, and that's what we are looking for," Bauer said.

The survey will last roughly one week.