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Feb 5, 2013

Petroleum contracts challenged in Supreme Court

The attorney for Oceana Belize, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage concluded oral arguments challenging the validity of six offshore Production Sharing Agreements in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall. If the environmentalists have their way, they would have the court quash oil concession contracts to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize and Sol Oil Belize, which were granted between 2005 and 2007. The decision now rests with Justice Legall who has reserved judgment for a later date. The Ministry of Natural Resources was represented by Senior Counsel Denys Barrow and Naima Barrow who felt confident about their oral arguments. 


Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government of Belize 

Denys Barrow

“The case seeks to challenge six agreements, six contract agreements, for petroleum operations over different large blocks of land in Belize; ranging from two hundred and odd thousand acres to two million acres. These contract were made in 2004 and 2007. The essential point that we made is that it is far too late to be challenging these things now especially since they are seeking to challenge—not the decision making but the lawfulness of the contract. And in our view that is something which is beyond the level at this stage of proper challenge. Oceana’s main concern is with the reef, with marine areas and so on. The advocacy that I am aware of does not direct itself largely to land-based activities. In the submission that we made, we indicated that while the blocked areas include marine areas, there is not any indication at this stage that anybody is looking to do any offshore oil exploration; even at this stage. Certainly the possibility exists, but we suggest that until it gets closer to a probability or a threat of doing so, there is not anything for us to be concerned about.”

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2 Responses for “Petroleum contracts challenged in Supreme Court”

  1. Storm says:

    Spoken like a two-faced fool! First he says, “it is far too late to be challenging these things now” and then he says “until it gets closer to a probability or a threat of doing so, there is not anything for us to be concerned about.” In other words, he says Oceana is both too late and too early! RUBBISH!

    If the contracts are invalid, they were, are, and always will be invalid. Let’s have a decision based on the facts and law, not on under-table bribes and kickbacks.

  2. sickntired says:

    Why are we in such a rush to destroy our environment? Govt needs to pursue activities which will be good for the country in all ways not just make money for the politicians to thief.

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