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Tullow Oil to survey for oil in Jamaica

Published:Monday | November 10, 2014 | 12:51 PM

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is expected to officially announce that Tullow Oil Plc, a publicly traded Irish company, has been selected to conduct 3-D surveys under the next phase of oil and gas exploration in Jamaica.

Tullow was one of at least two bidders for licences. A deciding factor in its favour was its successful projects executed in Ghana, according to energy sources. The company has interests in over 140 exploration and production licences across 21 countries which are managed as three regional business units: West & North Africa, South & East Africa and Europe, South America and Asia.

PCJ has previously said that bidders would likely have to invest up to US$100 million in the 3-D surveys, depending on the number of blocks to be explored.

Jamaica has been trying for decades to determine whether the fossils detected in its waters are in sufficient reserves for commercial extraction. The potential fields are all south of the island.

In the past decade, Jamaica has licensed a number of offshore blocks to overseas companies to do surveys, with the most promising results having come from oil exploration company Sagres Energy of Canada, whose surveys detected 'prospective' reserves of about 2.7 billion to three billion barrels in blocks 9, 13 and 14, located off the Pedro Cays.