JIS News

Jamaica formally offered 19 offshore and four onshore blocks for licensing for oil and gas exploration, at the launch of the Second Round bid, yesterday (March 1), in London.
Jamaican officials are confident that with new seismic data showing very positive prospects, the country could, in the long term, become one of the region’s top oil producers.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Hon. Laurence Broderick, who spoke at the launch, held at the Geological Society, emphasised that low energy cost is key to the country’s industrial development, so the programme to develop and expand renewable energy sources would continue at full speed.
“Presently, our dependence on oil leaves us at a highly disadvantageous position, in comparison with our competitors. The high cost (of electricity) to domestic customers and industry means that we are just not competitive,” he told JIS News in an interview.
The State Minister also participated in a seminar, under the theme: ‘New Prospects and New Opportunities’, which was put on by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and Jamaica Trade and Invest.
The seminar was held to support the island’s second formal licensing round for oil and gas exploration.
Consultant to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Dr. Raymond Wright, said while the data for oil and gas exploration in Jamaica was positive, any benefits would come in the long term.
“We are talking about anything that could happen in 2015 and beyond. It’s not next year, so we are really planning for the long term future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Broderick said that while renewable energy supplies would not account for more than 20 per cent of the country’s overall energy needs, there is an on-going programme to develop them.
“We have a couple of wind farms and we are seeking to establish more. With solar, we have not moved as fast because of the cost, but there are a number of companies that have expressed an interest and the pilot projects in hospitals are going well,” he pointed out.

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