Delving Behind The Hype And Propoganda Of Possible Patroleum Deposits In Barbados Waters


Minister of Energy Elizabeth Thompson in conversation with Professor Robert Volterra of the legal firm, Lathman and Watkins, after his presentation on the international legal environment as it relates to the oil bidding process.

Barbadians listened to the debate in parliament on the introduction of the Offshore Petroleum Act, and Offshore Petroleum Tax Act on Friday. We are sure that all Barbadians wish that the effort which the country is about to embark on will be successful. Prime Minister Arthur and many others must be concerned about the dependence which Barbados has placed on tourism. In a world where world travel has become so affected by terrorism, cost of travel, new markets and many other considerations taken by travelers, the urgency for Barbados to find an alternative foreign exchange revenue generator has heightened to a critical level.

A word of caution to Barbadians which is important in the face of the rabid propaganda and public relations onslaught by the Barbados Labour Party and detected by the Barbados Free Press in their piece posted today. Further reinforced by a comment received from one of our anonymous sources :

“Now about the hydrocarbons off the west coast. Oil will never be processed in Barbados. The quality of hydro carbons must be void of impurities such as sulphur. Unfortunately we do have that quality in Barbados. This hype is to get the BLP over the November elections.”

Many Barbadians appear to have accepted that we have found oil already__we have not! The other point of note must be that Venezuela, Nigeria, and several oil rich developing countries all manage economies which are in shambles; with a gulf in the distribution of wealth. Even if Barbados were to find oil it will not be the panacea to all our problems.


BU accept that this is a very technical field.  We have received a submission from a BU reader who has framed a response along technical lines. We are not sure if the person wants us to publish his/her name so we will refer to that person as Mr/s. B. We have formatted the individual’s contribution to improve presentation.  The content has not been touched!

“During the recent newspaper reports on the offshore oil potential, there are comments I would care to make, since my whole working life has been around onshore and offshore oil drilling, exploration, and production. On the suggestion that locally made ethanol could ease up our petroleum imports, somebody has not attempted the math. The whole sugar crop converted to ethanol would hardly run Barbados for more than a few days, and certainly not for one month. The offshore oil potential depends very much on the permeability and porosity of the oil sand structures we might find there. For this, you have to drill to find out. But on land in Barbados, the deep oil zones below 8000 feet are too tight to produce worthwhile results.


The shallow zones on land, are in small pockets that produce very little, very slowly, hence our over 250 odd wells drilled since 1980. Our highest years production were in 1886, when we were producing over 3000 Barrels a day, but that was because we had been drilling steadily since 1980. Once the drilling stopped the production per month dropped off with it, as no new wells were coming on line to keep the 3000/day rate up. The problem now in Barbados on land, is that the zones are sadly depleted, and although you can see many wells pumping, the oil produced is hardly 1000 barrels a day. Since Barbados petroleum demands (including aviation fuel) amount to figures that the government statistical department are very willing to give, they will demonstrate that the little oil we produce at high cost, saves us very little. “

We anticipate that in the coming months, the petroleum ministry will attract more scrutiny; but for now Prime Minister Arthur is happy to use it as a channel for propaganda to preach to a docile and illiterate public. Hopefully, more contributions from Mr/s. B and others will help to enlighten our public.


Related Stories

UPDATE: The Search For Oil Beyond The Shores Of Barbados Has Started~Can Barbados Become The UAE Of The Caribbean?

Barbados Oil Spin Continues… We’re All Rich, Don’t You Know?

2 thoughts on “Delving Behind The Hype And Propoganda Of Possible Patroleum Deposits In Barbados Waters

  1. Pingback: University Update - West 8 - Delving Behind The Hype And Propoganda Of Possible Patroleum Deposits In Barbados Waters

  2. I just thank the lord that Ms Thompson in her enthusiasm to promote our petrochemical prospects has not over exaggerated the prospects of finding recoverable oil.

    12 years ago nothing of interest.

    Now, it’s a bonanza!

    Go for it Liz, stake your reputation on it.

    You are a very brave lady.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.