Govt approves extension of BPC drilling period for first well

The government of The Bahamas has approved an interim force majeure extension on Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) drilling period for its Perseverance #1 exploratory well in the southern Bahamas, the company revealed in statement yesterday.

According to the statement, the Bahamas government formally notified BPC that it will now have until mid-April 2021 to begin the drilling of its first-ever well.

COVID-19 is the force majeure event that prevented BPC from drilling 

Perseverance #1 in the second quarter of 2020.

A force majeure clause is an unexpected and disruptive event that excuses a party from a contract.

“A 3.5-month force majeure extension to the second exploration period of the company’s southern licenses in The Bahamas has been granted, such that the current term of those licenses will now extend to at least mid-April 2021 and by which time BPC must have commenced well activities,” BPC’s statement noted.

“Given that the relevant force majeure event is presently continuing (namely, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, currently ongoing in both The Bahamas and in relevant international jurisdictions), BPC remains in constructive dialogue with the government as to the ultimate full extent of the force majeure extension. However, the interim extension to mid-April 2021, as now confirmed, is sufficient to provide certainty for the purposes of the drilling of Perseverance #1, which is scheduled to commence in the window of December 15, 2020 to February 1, 2021.”

BPC Chief Executive Officer Simon Potter said the force majeure extension will be consistent with its drilling contract timelines already negotiated with Stena Drilling.

“We are especially grateful to the Office of the Attorney General in The Bahamas for its collaborative approach to working with BPC, even whilst a state of emergency remains in force in The Bahamas,” said Potter.

BPC announced last week that it completed its merger with Columbus Energy Resources, making BPC a full-service oil and gas company with interests in The Bahamas, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

A statement released by BPC last Friday revealed that the court-sanctioned merger scheme was completed.

“These are interesting and exciting times for BPC and we look forward to keeping shareholders fully appraised of our progress in the coming months,” Potter said yesterday.

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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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