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May 8, 2013

OCEANA may seek injunction against Treaty Energy for continued drilling

On Tuesday, Louisiana-based energy company Treaty Energy Corporation announced its plan for Treaty Belize Energy to resume drilling operations at its San Juan three well in the Stann Creek District.  The decision succeeds advice from their attorneys and Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s public opposition to a recent Supreme Court decision rendered by Justice Oswell Legall. The judgment rendered all six oil concessions, granted to various companies for offshore exploration, null and void.  Among those voided is a contract awarded to Princess Petroleum Limited.  In 2010, TECO entered into a joint venture agreement with Princess to expand its terrestrial oil and gas concession.  Those areas cover a million and a half acres in northern and southern Belize.  The ruling, says OCEANA, restricts all exploratory activities within the six concessionary areas and by extension applies to Treaty Belize Energy since it shares acreage with Princess Petroleum.  Today, OCEANA’s Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd told the media that they are waiting for Treaty Belize to continue with its plan before effecting the injunction.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice President, Oceana in Belize

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yesterday Treaty [Belize Energy Limited] issued a press release saying that based on their advice from their attorney, who is Mr. Rodwell Williams, from Barrow & Williams, and based on the statement the prime minister made to the press that they have opted that they would proceed.  What we therefore need to do, that’s just a statement that they say they would proceed.  We need to then be vigilant and get the evidence that they did proceed and we then need to find government’s acquiescence to that or tacit encouragement or, in anyway, involvement in allowing them to proceed and then we will seek enforcement of our injunction. We brought a case against the government, they didn’t want to be interested parties.  They knew about the case but the decision was about the government’s modus operandi and how they went about entering these contracts.  The court said, “we declare them unlawful” but a declaration is not a mechanism that just says then, “oh by itself it means that you have to enforce it.”  It simply means that you have to do something else to enforce it, so what the court did, not to leave us in limbo, was to put in place an enforcement mechanism which was the injunction, which was to say to the government, “not only  have I told you those contracts are unlawful, null and void but I am telling you, you can’t move a finger to do anything to carry out that contract.”  So then the government’s responsibility would have then been to notify all the contracting parties which would then be Princess and Princess would have to notify Treaty that we cannot go ahead because the persons through whom we are acting, which is the government on whose behalf we have gotten the permission to proceed has been injuncted.  So it would then mean that Princess is also covered under this situation here and also Treaty.  Both of them would not be able to do anything without the government’s stamp of approval and if they do it is the duty of the government to uphold the law.”

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1 Response for “OCEANA may seek injunction against Treaty Energy for continued drilling”

  1. Storm says:

    I’m amazed how the PM ignores the court’s orders and invites foreigners to drill illegally. No man, not even the PM, is above the law. That principle has been in our heritage since the King John was forced to bow before the Magna Carta, from which all our freedoms come.

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