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BPC seeking BISX investment option

A slice of a multi-billion-dollar offering is currently being worked on for Bahamians keen on investing in the Bahamas Petroleum Company, through the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX), with only one thing now certain — it won’t be an initial public offering (IPO).

Instead, BPC CEO Dr. Paul Crevello said the listing may come in the form of a Bahamian Depository Receipt (BDR).

“We had some discussions with a local investment group in The Bahamas about the possibility of a BDR,” he told Guardian Business yesterday.  “We really aren’t in a position to do an IPO and we’re still trying to understand restrictions and how to move forward and be listed on the exchange as a Bahamian Depository Receipt.”

Currently, he said executives are investigating how to price the offering now for the market, with exchange controls issues to be sorted out.  BDRs are an adaptation of American Depository Receipts, which allow investment in other countries around the world without regulatory or currency issues.

Crevello said the intent was not for Bahamians to fund the oil exploration company in any way.

“We are not looking to raise any type of funds in The Bahamas from Bahamian investors,” he added. “We are really well funded now from our share offering in March. Our intention would be to have a mechanism and/or vehicle for Bahamians to be able to invest in our company if they so wish.”

The move is also expected to add value to BISX as well, with its CEO Keith Davies asserting earlier that the company could be a good addition to the market.

“Subject to them meeting our baseline requirements I’d say they would be definitely welcome,” he said.  “From a diversification standpoint it would be good to increase our presence in oil and gas, obviously we already have FOCOL but BPC is more exploration. Of course they would have to go through the due diligence but yes they’d be welcome.

“Of course, it also would depend on what kind of listing they want, be it primary or secondary. They are listed on the AIM in London which is a London Stock Market surrogate.  While that’s not recognized in The Bahamas it could provide useful additional information.”

On Monday, the results of BPC’s most recent study revealed that some of its licensed areas potentially have billions of barrels of oil equivalents altogether.

The Competent Person’s Report (CPR) conducted by consultant firm Ryder Scott unveiled the massive oil potential of the licensed areas, and Crevello was very pleased with the findings.

“The Ryder Scott report provides the first resource evaluation of the southern fold belt and, for that matter, in The Bahamas,” Crevello said.  “The report is the result of analyses of the recently acquired 2D seismic survey and verifies our earlier studies on the resource potential of The Bahamas. It has taken the company nearly five years to mature the project to this level.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of the report and look forward to continuing our exploration program in licences in which the company holds 100 percent interests,” added Crevello.

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