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Sep 12, 2012

Oceana challenge shows agreement with Minister and Petroleum Company

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

According to Matura-Shepherd, the challenge has also led to the discovery of an undisclosed agreement signed by Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega with the principals of Princess Petroleum in 2009.  The condition of that contract allows the company to retain one hundred percent of the block that was granted to them for oil exploration.  Matura-Shepherd additionally notes that the biennial renewal of oil concessions requires the cession of twenty-five percent of the section approved.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice-President, Oceana Belize

“What has happened, like I’ve always said, it was important for this case to go to full trial because it is as a result of this case that we are being able to discover a lot of information that we did not know, for example, when we first found out that these contracts existed would have been in 2010.  When people saw the map that showed that the entire country was covered by oil companies; that they owned [concessions] from land and sea.  At that time we tried to get disclosure from the government, we have never really gotten official contracts from the government until through this case, of course, they had to disclose it to us through the disclosure terms.  Also, as a result of that we found out that there is more to the contracts than we had thought and the one I am referring to right now specifically is Princess [Petroleum Ltd.] We eventually got a copy of a secret agreement, signed since 2009, in which Minister Vega signed off, saying that Princess Petroleum did not have to relinquish any block, that before they used to have to relinquish twenty-five percent of the area they owned.  And every contract term, which should have been every two years, they give another twenty-five, another twenty-five until it would have been just the area where they found oil if they found oil.  Under this secret agreement, signed on the 15th, September 2009, Minister Vega then said that the contract is to be amended and remove the twenty-five percent and replace it with zero percent.  Why is that important?  It’s significant because we were hoping that through the relinquishment period that the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef and even the portion of Turneffe Atoll would have been removed from the oil companies’ hands because as the contract stands now these oil companies actually have the right to go over these places.  They have the legal right to explore and drill there if they so wish.”

 

Interestingly, the prime minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, is listed as one of three directors of Princess Petroleum Ltd.


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5 Responses for “Oceana challenge shows agreement with Minister and Petroleum Company”

  1. Storm says:

    Gapi definitely is not normal. He’s as crooked as a dog’s back leg. If I looked in a mirror and saw him staring back at me, I think I’d take my life — how can a man like that live with himself?

    The joke will be when he discovers he can’t take his ill-gotten wealth with him to purgatory.

  2. Rod says:

    Total corruption in the land this pm and gov. Is totally corrupt now things are coming to light that this pm and gov. Are only filling thir pockets with money while the po people of Belize go without jobs without food they will start killing people for food and you wonder why this pm and his ministers go to Miami Chicago la new York so much every other week I would be willing to bet that if you check all of their bank accounts in these places you will find that they all have millions of dollars in their accounts what kind of leader do we have when he and his people stuff their pockets with all the oil profits while the po belizeans starve well if unu no wake up now and smell the roses then unu deserve fu get whatever unu get .

  3. Bear says:

    @Rod, don’t worry so much. We already have a law that requires the PM and all of the other members of the National Assembly to disclose their bank accounts every year in the gazette. It’s called the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act [great name, don't you think?].

    I’m sure the leaders will follow the law and tell us where they are hiding their money.

  4. Rod says:

    I think I will start to investigate all these ministers and pm and will follow up on this story I will list bank names acct numbers and balance so give me a week or two And to save time who can provide me with the list of all ministers please do so post it any day. This is what the news papers should be investigating.

  5. rasman says:

    Hi I am Dean Barrow, what you guys expect, be poor like you guys when I have everything at my disposal. You have given me the mandate to take as I see fit. I also have interest in other oil companies and there no jack s… you can do about it. When you decide to kick me out I will be filty rich that I will move to Miami.

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