Bahamas Petroleum Company releases share offering

The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) released its share offering on Friday in hopes of raising one-third of the $25 million cost of securing a drill rig to begin its exploratory oil well in the southern Bahamas in the first half of 2020.

If BPC’s open offer to qualifying, existing shareholders is fully subscribed, the company will raise $8.5 million from the issuance of 338,543,819 new shares in the company.

BPC Chief Executive Officer Simon Potter said in the company’s share offer announcement that any shares not taken up by the shareholders will be offered to institutional investors.

“We are delighted to make the open offer to our existing shareholders and reflecting the potential interest shown from institutional investors, will be making any shares not taken up available in the placing, as part of a funding package for our planned drilling activities on our highly prospective licenses,” Potter said.

“A significant operational phase is now getting underway, where we will be working towards receipt of a rig from Seadrill in the first quarter of 2020. This is an exciting time for the company and we look forward to updating shareholders on the results of the open offer process, as well as other operational updates in due course.”

The announcement on the company’s website added, “Shore Capital has agreed that to the extent any remaining shortfall is not fully placed, Shore Capital will participate in the placing to the point that the open offer is fully subscribed or to a maximum of US$1 million. In addition, the management of the company has indicated an intention to subscribe £250,000 in the placing.”

As BPC moves closer to securing a drill rig and starting its exploratory well, environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of oil exploration in Bahamian waters.

Executive Director of the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) Casuarina McKinney-Lambert told Guardian Business recently that The Bahamas should not move forward with any projects related to oil.

McKinney-Lambert said Hurricane Dorian clearly exposed The Bahamas’ vulnerability to increasingly intense hurricanes and lamented the government’s inaction in pulling back on the exploration for oil that the Bahamas Petroleum Company hopes to begin next year.

“The Bahamas is in a state of climate emergency and it is completely inappropriate to move forward with extracting fossil fuels out of our waters,” McKinney-Lambert said.

“We need to be a leader in alternative energy, not the newest kid on the block in the industry that is doing so much damage to our planet. The Bahamas is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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