Country Must Become Engaged in Oil Exploration – Paulwell


Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell has stressed that it was critical for the country to become engaged in oil exploration, as there could be oil supply disruption due to massive oil price increases on the global market. He also indicated that there was a distinct possibility that Jamaica had a number of untapped petroleum resources.
Giving an address at a meeting of the Jamaica Institute of Engineers (JIE) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday (October 11), Minister Paulwell said that three oil and gas systems have been identified in Jamaica for the first time. “The most important of these is offshore in the Walton Basin and the adjoining south coast region,” he added.
The Walton Basin, he pointed out, had possible reserves of 2.8 billion barrels of oil (BBO) or 10.6 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas.
“Excellent analogies exist with the oil and the gas fields of western Indonesia. This possibility extends southwards to include the Pedro Bank,” the Minister pointed out.
He identified the south coast of Jamaica, eastern Westmoreland, and the John Crow Mountains in the extreme east of the island as possible oil locations. “Oils similar to those of the Arkansas-Gulf of Mexico are present in St. Ann. This exploration extends from Annotto Bay to Montego Bay,” the Minister noted.
Mr. Paulwell said that 22 offshore and four onshore blocks have been designated, noting that the size of the blocks was related to their perceived prospects. He said an announcement would be forthcoming, which would see the blocks being offered in a licensing round.
He pointed out that the oil exploration process to define drilling targets in the island could take up to two years.
Bemoaning the fact that the existing seismic coverage in Jamaica was limited and of poor quality, the Minister said that before wells could be drilled, “new seismic and reprocessing of existing seismic will be required”.

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