Barbados Oil Spin Continues… We’re All Rich, Don’t You Know?

There MUST Be An Election Around Here Somewhere!

Minister of Energy Liz Thompson was at it again yesterday – telling Barbadians that we are going to make so much money from offshore oil that we will have to create an “Petroleum Heritage Stabilisation Fund” to ensure that the current generation doesn’t spend it all now and leave nothing for the future.

A shame that her government never implemented a “Land Heritage Stabilisation Fund” with the same intent of protecting our lands from the politicians who have become millionaires in the past decade.

IF there is oil off our shores, and IF it can be found and produced economically it will be years – perhaps a decade – before significant revenues start to flow.

There is nothing wrong with preparing for the future, but the current level of government celebration is nothing more than pre-election feel-good hype.

The Nation News – US$50,000 to Explore Bajan Waters


Filed under Barbados, Business, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Barbados Oil Spin Continues… We’re All Rich, Don’t You Know?

  1. Tom

    You bet, Hype! Invest in oil? For what? So that once it starts to bring in the big dollars our government gives it to T&T like they did with Arawak Cement, BNB etc? Bet we are told that our friend (?) to the South has the infrastructure already in place so it’s in our interest to let them process and market the oil and pay us a commission. We are so smart…



  3. While it is sensible to try and get international oil firms interested in oil in Barbados waters it is foolhardy to even speculate on what will be done with the revenue.

    Min Liz Thompson knows that high cost exploration and production will only go ahead when all easier, less expensive alternatives have been tested.

    It is dishonest to talk of marine oil revenue in Barbados as anything but wishful thinking at this stage.

  4. Pogo

    Petroleum Heritage Stabilisation Fund?

    Ha, Oh, HaoHa, very funny. There is no one in government who has the faintest idea about how to manage our money except to fatten up their own wallets.

    “Petroleum Heritage Politicians Retirement Fund” is a better name.

  5. anonymous

    Just a 2 years ago the test wells were done on those marine areas. The ruling government has the inside scoop.

    The rest of us suckers are offered shares so the politicians and their family will be camoflauge.

  6. Citizen First

    Do geological surveys suggest that there are commercial quantities of oil or gas (or both) in Barbados’ marine areas? If so, how long will it take to put in place the infrastucture to access these resources. What was the outcome of those test wells done in the marine areas?

    Having absolutely no experience or knowledge of the oil and gas business, I am left with the impression by Minister Thompson’s recent speeches that Barbados will in the very near future have a significant oil and gas industry. Any non cryptic comments?

  7. YeeeHaww!

    Here comes the Subway System we so badly need.

    150ft. underground,
    (where the coral cap meets the Oceanic Series chalk)
    we’ll be running a subterranean Tube up the West Coast, as far as Half Moon Fort..
    and along the South Coast, as far as the Airport, maybe as far as The Crane(dem rich ppl will chip in).
    An END to our ZR-transportation pressures..yesssss!

    Then we build the much-vaunted Airport in SinLucy
    to hurtle the island’s northern cap into the 21st. Century,.
    SinLucy are U ready for DAT?

    and then..a mosquito bite my toe I wake up. Pop!
    such a rude awakening, and the dream was so sweet, nuh!

  8. Green first.

    Doan get yuh knickers in no twis’, boy!

    You and I know enough now, dat EFF dum did BigOil out dey,
    Shell&Dem woulda done gone en get it!

    As has always been predicted, the marginal(marginal!) shows of oil will start to be attractive as crude prices rise to levels that suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

    Oil Companies don’t operate on oil,
    they operate on GREEN – i.e. MONEY!
    so if the price of crude stays above USD60-70/bbl for the forseeable future(not difficult)
    a small move will happen,
    but I can almost guarantee you that it’s nuffin to get yuhself all excited about.

    Logic alone would tell you that I am talking sense.
    If it was a big pool, we woulda done know about it decades ago.
    Nothing remains hidden for long in the world of oil technology/exploration,
    especially with seismic exploration techniques and technologies advancing(as do all other technologies,these days)
    – Figure it out for yourself!

    and anyone but the foolish Bajan electorate can see thru it as plain as a clean sheet of glass!
    Furthermore, the electoral spin WILL WORK,
    because(like the alleged AfterLife) Bajans WANT TO BELIEVE IT,
    and as long as we believe it long enough and hard enough, BOTH fantasies WILL COME TRUE!!

    Do you get the picture??
    Can U hear me now?


    This might seem like a strange post but we might be better off if they don’t one thing out there. Large oil deposits and corrupt politicians are a very explosive and volatile mix for the masses.

    Maybe i’am wrong but i don’t see very many stable places with large amounts of oil. At least outside of the major ‘developed’ countries . I somehow don’t thinks its just a coincidence either.

  10. BigOilBoy

    I worked in Big Oil for 15 years in a bunch of countries and I ent hearing nuttin here that suggests a major find. Logic, and experience, suggests that if there is anything it will be expensive to extract, require serious concessions and be relatively small. You’ve got to respect the current government’s ability to spin though – all extremely impressive.

  11. Green first.

    Hats off to both ILLUMINATOR and BigOilBoy.

    They are both 101% on the money (or lack thereof).
    Thank you gentlemen, for your insight.

    I particularly appreciate the former!

  12. On Friday, 10 August, 2007, the House of Assembly of the Parliament began debate on the Offshore Petroleum Bill, 2007. This Bill deals with the vesting in the state of Barbados of the property in the petroleum in the island’s territorial waters, exclusive economic zone, continential shelf, and provides for the search and recovery of peroleum. Energy Minister, Liz Thompson, in leading off debate on the Bill, is reported to have also dealt with, et al, a proposed new state owned (?) company that would allow ordinary Barbadians the opportunity to own shares in it, and thus, presumably, an opportunity to acquire some level of ownership in these marine hydrocarbon resources of Barbados; dealt with the division of 70 000 square kilometres of offshore territory into 26 blocks; the right to tax; and a Petroleum Heritage Stabilization Fund (Saturday Sun, August 11, 2007).

    While Ms. Thompson and the Government have seen it fit at this stage to start putting in place a legislative framework to deal with these kinds of issues, the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) must avow that such a legislative framework is miserably inadequate, inconsistent and out of sync with what is required to help build and develop a successful offshore petroleum industry for Barbados. Most importantly, to start building and developing such an industry must mean that there must be strong and unchallengeable evidence available of substantial mineable oil deposits to be drilled in the marine areas set out in the Bill. So far, this evidence seems so elusive and unclear that unless there is actual evidence of substantial mineable deposits found in those areas it certainly would not make much sense going ahead with this legislative framework. Also, it is clear that this Bill, in essence, does not deal with the potential such an industry would have for Barbados as well as deal with the possible or actual development and expansion of such an industry for Barbados, as that, no where in the newspaper and television reports, on BFP, is there guiding reference given to any government data/information on the refining, storage, distribution, wholesale, retail, marketing, exportation, branding, technological, security, and other very important aspects, as would usually signify the fact of a constituent industry, and a viable one at that, that is about to be properly developed.

    The fact that there have NOT been any reports of any connections between BNTCL and these offshore efforts shows the kind of chemistry already developing between BNTCL and these offshore efforts at this stage. We in PDC wonder what the bill says about the benefits/costs to the local electricity sector, retail fuel sectors, the general public, etc, should there be any substantial deposits found. However, we believe it says nothing. The fact that this Bill does not in essence deal with these kinds of issues either shows an absolute lack of vision and foresight on the part of the Minister, this BLP Government, and the technical people within and without government that are altogether responsible for making contributions to this Bill, if one thinks that they ought to be thinking developmentally, or shows that those same above persons do not know what to expect concerning what quantities and qualities of petroleum and/or gas that would be found beneath the seabeds off Barbados, and that can be furthermore mined and produced, hence they preferring to deal substantially with these subjects in narrow and imprecise ways. However, we think it is both!!

    Nevertheless, from the point of view of national strategic planning and development, PDC believes that the marine hydrocarbon resources of Barbados, and especially those of oil and gas and their attendant factors, do not deserve to be treated in such a piecemeal and superficial manner by the minister and those others involved in the Bill’s coming about, but that these resources deserve to be treated in a holistic manner. Without a doubt, this lack of appropriate treatment substantially reflects the minister’s profesional training and background: legalisms, formalisms, and advocacy (which in themselves are good to have), but is a treatment that surely will NOT compensate for the absolute lack of the respective inputs, developmentally driven or otherwise, of geologists, engineers, oil marketeers, and even so-called economists, and thus will NOT compensate for a more solid, purposeful and comprehensive bill.

    Surely, it would have been wonderful to have got public and national discussions and consultations on such important issues and questions, and a National White Paper emerging to inform government policy and law on such vital energy matters, and esp. linking onshore and offshore dimensions, and in a way that the people of Barbados would know what is or is not at stake, policywise and otherwise, regarding the potential for the offshore oil and gas industry of Barbados. For certainly, this example of almost one upwomanship, will NOT work in regard of the possibility of this industry coming on stream, Ms. Thompson!! It seems that in her desperation to get this bill debated and passed, she has been studying how she will be recognized and praised by a few people later down the road as the Minister to have laid the foundation (legislative) for the offshore oil industry of Barbados, if it ever gets going, and nevermind the mistakes she is currently making concerning this legislative framework and its main subjects.

    Before, finishing this piece, let us, however, look at some of the things that have already utterly blemished Ms. Thompson’s ministerial record in Government beyond redemption before some persons begin to look at praising her in that way, and which can be partly used as rational bases for adjudging how the Minister will perform as Energy Minister in regard of the promise that may hold forth in respect of this said offshore oil sector. Remember how this same minister, when she was the Minister of Housing came rushing forward with her ego in her hands seeking the public’s attention and cheap publicity on what has now become one of the most failed governmental projects in the modern history of government and politics in Barbados: the Primary Home Profgram? Huh?? Too, remember when she recently rushed forward with her ego this time under her feet on the Solar Home Model? Rushing fast forward but going little or no where!! Too, remember very well that not only did she lunge forward with her ego, but also with her proverbial slip showing and an adamant attitude and all, concerning the siting of the controversial Greenland Landfill Project in Greenland, St. Andrew, in 1995, but which up to now with this BLP Government soon to be voted out of office Next Elections – 12 years since that time and millions upon millions of public dolars wasted on it, and there has NOT ben a shred of garbage coLlected in it?

    What a shame it is that this minister comes up with so many fair ideas but is a big failure at getting them properly materialize!! Too, she seems to think that the public of Barbados has forgiven her for presiding over that most shocking and monumental financial wastage to have ever taken place in Barbados in recent time at the Golden Beach Bath facility in Silver Sands? But most of the public have NOT!! And who would forget that in the earlier times of this BLP Government, when as Health Minister, she was reported to have suggested, in a nasty spat with some young doctors, that they were not qualified Doctors? And how she was around this time described by the Prime Minister as being cantankerous??! Who would forget that she did not want the Opposition Leader at the time to visit the said Greenland Landfill, and how it was said by some Barbadians that this attitude would have helped led to her being fired as Health Minister by Mr Arthur?And now this is the same minister that comes up with plans for a state-owned oil enterprise and some Petroleum Heritage Stabilization Fund? You judge!!

  13. littleboy

    If there is so much gas and oil to be drilled off Barbados, why is it necessary to run a pipe line from Trinidad to Barbados as Minister Liz Thompson-Mc Dowell has been proposing?
    Did she not say that our gas reserves are running out, and we need that pipeline urgently?
    Maybe the “pipeline” of which she speaks has some $$$ flowing through it!!!

  14. J. Payne

    Well all I know is if one of dese companies reach oil, it gon be the elite in Barbados and probably the BLP’s bank accounts which will benefit….. They will be making off wid all de money….

    Small man in the country shouldn’t even come looking for a crum cuzz BLP done let everybody know that they feeling licrish for this petrol dollar.

  15. Straight talk

    Actually we should feel ourselves lucky to be propagandised by “Miss Ellie” Thompson and her Dallas set.
    Poor old Cambodia’s parliament and public have not been told that they have struck enough oil to account for 50% of their GDP for at least 20 years.

    Their corrupt government have signed all the deals and are ready to commence production whilst the population, average wage BD$1.00 per day, are kept in ignorance of their offshore bonanza and their leaders mean to keep it that way.