The National Democratic Congress-led government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is moving to ensure that Grenada begin to seriously explore its hydrocarbon products.
Minister of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Co-operatives, Nazim Burke last week disclosed that Grenada signed a co-operation agreement with neighbouring island Trinidad and Tobago for energy development.
This recent agreement with the twin-island Republic is a further step to a maritime boundary delimitation treaty signed between the two countries in April 2010 that will advance the joint exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the maritime areas in Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.
The Maritime Boundary Delimitation Treaty signed on September 3 by Minister Burke and Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, Kevin Ramnarine, lays the foundation for cooperation in areas such as the development and implementation of technical programmes, projects and activities, the conduct of joint seismic surveys and joint exploration, and the implementation of joint development plans for the unitisation of hydrocarbon reservoirs existing in the respective continental shelves of both countries.
According to Minister Burke, the agreement allows for cooperation in the sharing of seismic data so that information Trinidad have about oil and gas location they will share with Grenada and what Grenada have will be shared with Trinidad.
He said the agreement also makes provision for Grenada to hire seismic companies to do searches in Grenada’s waters to determine where deposits are and will share the revenues from those searches.
He explained that the selling of these data could bring in a stream of revenue even before the country starts to reap its oil and gas.
Minister Burke said the agreement would also enable Grenada to establish a joint development zone and will ensure that the two neighbouring States for the first time in the history of the Caribbean region, will cooperate in conducting seismic searches of their maritime waters to determine what hydrocarbon resources are available and where they are located.
“For the first time it will allow us to cooperate in the field of training of our people, where Trinidad will help to train some of our own people to prepare them for entry into the hydrocarbon industry”, he remarked.
“An area designated as an area which will be developed jointly by both countries and both governments establishing a joint working group of experts from both sides and determining when and how we would put blocks of our respective maritime spaces on the international market for sale, exploitation and exploration”, he said.
Minister Burke stated that based on the program of work developed and identified, it is the intention of both governments to go to market jointly with a block for exploitation and exploration as early as March 2013.
The senior government minister pointed out that this would mark a very historic step in the history of Grenada and its official entry into the oil and gas industry.
Minister Burke believes that the Caribbean sits on the largest reserve of energy resources in the world – wind, geothermal, solar, waste, and all the renewable resources but the irony of it is that the region also has the highest energy bill per capital.
“It is wonderful to know that as we enter that industry our hands are being held by the sister nation, CARICOM nation which is one of the oldest oil producing countries in the world”, he said.
Minister Burke also disclosed that Grenada is working with Trinidad and Tobago to solve its energy problems.