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May 12, 2015

Does Belize Really Have Oil Deposits Offshore?

A Yahoo article published earlier today, saying that the government is close to opening the entire country for oil exploration, sent people across social media in a frenzy. The article titled “This Tiny Nation Could Have Huge Oil and Gas Potential,” says that “Last week the country’s Ministry of Energy affirmed that it is considering opening to exploration. Allowing oil and gas drillers for the first time to test the offshore and onshore environment…” and goes on to say that the Ministry’s dialogue is “Signaling that things are progressing when it comes to offering the first ever licenses.” Well, we wanted to get some clarity from the Ministry of Energy, but our attempts to contact the C.E.O. were futile, as we our attempts to reach Andre Cho the Director of Geology. One organization that hasn’t shied away from talking about the issue is OCEANA. We spoke with VP Janelle Chanona via phone and asked her about the article.


Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, VP OCEANA, Belize

“Well, undoubtedly if you look at who wrote the article and the company that is responsible for that information clearly has a slant toward oil exploration and development, there is a bias there. But the big take-away from that article, Andrea, is the word ‘could’. Anything could happen. There are so many things that could be but the inevitability what will happen is what we say that every country that has embarked on offshore oil exploration has ended up with a major disaster. That is a will. That is a certainty. It should not happen here because of how economically important and dependent we are on our marine natural resources. But whereas there could be deposits, there would be a disaster that we would have to deal with. And the article, I believe, the author is misinformed because it would not be for the first time that Belize’s marine environment is being explored. There are seismic maps that are dated that show extensive grid work from surveys that have been conducted for many, many years over our young history, that reveal nothing. Big Oil was here, smaller companies were here, they did the seismic work and they left. We even dig exploratory wells off shore- those are capped. Hopefully very securely those are capped. We are not sure where this should is coming from. It could be just pop string to try to get attention for together companies to come in and want to purchase product sharing agreement- if and when those come up available. We know that the government has said that there is a moratorium in place. So, we don’t know where that information is coming from, Andrea, and as I said that article is coming from a very bias position and some of the information is inaccurate, just on pure face value.”

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2 Responses for “Does Belize Really Have Oil Deposits Offshore?”

  1. Ali BaBarrow says:

    Does Belize Really Have Oil Deposits Offshore?

    NO, Ali has oil deposits offshore.

  2. belizean says:

    Rightly Said Janelle, its pretty clear that this is to attract investment into something that wont pan out, basically its to fool investors into fools gold, or fools oil in this case.

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