The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has said that they are nowhere near confirming that oil reserves have been discovered beneath Jamaican soil, at least not yet. This has come in response to a media report which suggested that there could be oil and gas equivalent to 229 million barrels, waiting to be tapped in Jamaica. The report suggested that the resource has already been discovered. PCJ says this is not true.
Possibilities Cannot be Ruled Out Either
The PCJ statement seems to indicate that there cannot be a finality about the oil exploration, at this stage. It is still a work in progress. Though some of the results from the work done so far show that the direction in which the work is progressing is quite correct, oil discovery cannot be confirmed yet. PCJ had entered into an agreement with Tullow Oil PLC in 2014 with the objective of exploring for offshore oilfields in Jamaica.
Though the company has not had any success so far, a milestone of sorts was achieved last year, 2018, when Tullow Oil conducted a 3-D seismic survey as part of Jamaica’s Oil and Gas Exploration Programme. Their initial test results showed the presence of some fluids, but it could not be confirmed if it was oil. Even if it is presumed to be oil, it is difficult to determine its quality at this stage. It would be equally difficult to assess the size of the oilfield and how much oil can be extracted from the find.
It May Take Another Year to Know for Sure
By current estimates, it may not be before 2020 that either PCJ or Tullow Oil can announce with any amount of certainty, that they have found oil in Jamaica. Any announcements in this regard before that would only amount to conjecture. On what basis the journalist had mentioned that 229 million barrels worth of oil had been found in Jamaica, will remain a mystery. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica must be trusted to provide the right information. After all, they will be delighted to declare first, any discovery of oil in Jamaica, if it were to really happen.
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