Drill Darcy Drill

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Senator Darcy Boyce

Successive governments in Barbados have been reluctant to engage the people in dialogue, whether about projects on the go or general information. If one did not know better the belief that MPs are the masters and the people the servants would gain currency. Unlike the British system which has  ‘Question Time’ – a system which affords members of parliament the opportunity  to ask government ministers questions in public – Barbadians have to rely on the minister or Prime Minister to cough up information when he or she feel so inclined. The foregoing takes into consideration the system of government we practice is modelled after the Westminster System.

BU selects one issue to illustrate the point. After the Hague Tribunal ruled in the Barbados/Trinidad Maritime dispute in 2006, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) decided to move full steam ahead with an Offshore Exploration and Production Program. About 70,000 square kilometres were divided into stripes and several oil drilling companies were invited to bid for the rights to explore in the deep waters  off the Northeast coast of Barbados. The rest as they say is history.

The Arthur government although bullish on the project at the time, the approach contrast starkly with the lukewarm approach of the current government. Our best research turned up a vague response by Minister responsible Darcy Boyce who blamed the downturn in the global economy and estimated that benefits from oil exploration may take up to ten years. In the meantime Guyana is moving full steam ahead with its oil exploration program. International oil companies REPSOL and CGX have been engaged by the Guyana government.

BU offers a disclosure on this subject. We believe the potential for harm to our ecosystem by growing an offshore oil industry should be of concern. No doubt they are measures as a country we would have to take to manage attendant risks. However it does not explain the lack of energy by this government to advance the project.

The prospect of creating a new level of prosperity for the country should have been mouth watering for any government given our dependence on fossil fuel. It is BU’s understanding that the average citizen would have had the opportunity to own shares in the ownership company without any risk of financial exposure. The deal would have been structured that associated exploration cost would have been absorbed by the drilling company. However, if oil was found, a negotiated percentage would have flowed into the coffers of Barbados. We can only speculate if the government did not take its foot off the gas we would have been well advanced in the exploration process.

It should be obvious that BU’s understanding of the project status conflicts with what Minister Darcy Boyce has offered as the reason for the delay. Where should the people turn for answers about oil exploration in Barbados?

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5 responses to “Drill Darcy Drill

  1. money laundering is done directly through the Barbados government.
    no questions allowed.
    but you can see it all around.

  2. old onion bags

    Is it any surprise.Does it not go without question? Could one really expect any forward movement on anything positive ..oil humm ? It’s the L word again boss. As to information from Ole Darcy & co,.the last time it was so distorted,some believed it was being given a glass “ESAF See Thru Rum”…Mr.Blogger your questions asks too much.

  3. millertheanunnaki

    Not only Guyana. But Cuba and Brazil are also going full steam ahead with their offshore exploration.
    But again the apologists would come on this blog and try to pin it on the international economic recession. Which, by the way, is only a serious message to certain North Atlantic countries and those service-oriented and tourism-dependent small economies with symbiotic relationships to clean up their financial systems and exercise greater fiscal prudence. The days of financial and fiscal impropriety and unaccountability are over.

    What determines the attractiveness of offshore oil exploration is the price of crude on the world market and the quality and quantity estimated through geological surveys and testing.
    During the time Darcy Boyce was sailing his boat into the marina the price of oil was skyrocketing making oil exploration more inviting. The current World market price is hovering around the $90-$100 per/bbl mark and is expected to continue to rise given the ongoing tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.

    But things happen for reason. Oil wealth can be a blessing but also a curse. Let alternative energy in the form of solar and wind be the way forward for a small coral island like Bim and not fossil fuels.

  4. Why must we beg for information?

    What is the status of this oil exploration project?

    Will the BLP pursue if it regains the next government?

  5. Unfortunately David Darcy Boyce cannot be associated with effectiveness, accountability, performance, communication or even charisma. If he’s taking the lead, then this too will go the way of “lost in a folder under a pile on the desk”

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