Minister of Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Cooperatives, Oliver Joseph has admitted that government is aware of activities taking place in Grenadian waters involving a foreign ship.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing last week, the senior government minister in response to questions posed by members of the local media said that although a ship is out there doing some work, he cannot recall who is really spearheading these activities.
The ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell has not issued any public statement on the presence of the ship in local waters.
However, Minister Joseph when pressed by local reporters offered this comment:” Well there is a ship out in Grenadian waters doing some tests, 3D’s tests, that is as far as I know. They are doing some research in Grenada waters, so yes, so you have them doing some research”.
The minister did not seem to be fully brief on the issue.
When the media asked the minister to explain what is taking place regarding the country’s maritime resources and who was granted permission to begin some semblance of work, Joseph said he could not remember.
“I don’t recall the name of the company”, said the elected Member of Parliament for the St. David constituency.
When asked if the Russian outfit, Global Petroleum Group (GPG) is the company undertaking these tests or was involved with these developments in the local waters, Joseph again responded that he could not recall.
A recent publication posted on www.ogj.com website (Oil and Gas Journal) reported that GPG claims to have a contract to drill for oil and gas and that the initial drilling phase is scheduled during 2014.
The July 31 published document reads as follows:
GPG claim to have a contract to drill for oil and gas Grenada: Marine 3D seismic survey planned
HOUSTON, TEXAS — Global Petroleum Group Ltd. has let a contract to SeaBird Exploration PLC for a marine 3D seismic survey in the Grenada offshore basin.
GPG has revealed that based on its 2D seismic lines recently processed by Tricon Geophysics Inc., Houston, the area to be surveyed “has been characterized as having a high potential for significant hydrocarbon deposits.”
In this context, GPG and Blackwater Subsea LLC, Houston, are in talks on the final design of a development plan and project management for the initial drilling phase scheduled during 2014.
SeaBird is deploying to Grenada its modern equipped eight-streamer 3D vessel Geo Pacific that recently successfully completed another 3D survey in the Caribbean region.
GPG came in the lives of Grenadians under the leadership of Dr Keith Mitchell in his 1995 to 2008 stint as Prime Minister.
As early as September 28th 2005 an indemnifying Agreement was signed between the Government of Grenada and the Global Petroleum Group (GPG) signed by Gregory Bowen, acting in his capacity as Minister for Energy, on behalf of the Government of Grenada and Eduard Vasiliov, Chairman of GPG, signed on behalf of that company.
According to the related Funding Agreement, Lev Model, a Russian national who was Chief Executive Officer of Call Centres for Grenada (CCG), was authorised to act on behalf of GPG in formal matters related to the company.
The alleged terms and conditions of the Agreement is that GPG undertook to cover the costs of all disputes related to the resolution of the matter between the Government of Grenada and RSM Production.
The NNP administration, under the leadership of Dr. Mitchell allegedly entered into a Product Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Global Petroleum Grenada (GPG) for the exploration, development and production of offshore petroleum resources of Grenada, on March 31st 2008.
A report circulated via the Internet reported, “Global Petroleum Group Ltd has confirmed being granted a hydrocarbon exploration and production license for 11 blocks totaling 7,450 sq km off the tiny island nation of Grenada. The license will be for an initial period of four years renewable for two additional periods of two years each. Concurrently, an oil and gas development agreement was executed with the government granting Global Petroleum preferential rights to obtain a development license for 20 years, renewable for 10 more years, and setting the economic terms governing the production period.”
Talks of GPG resurfaced one month before the February 19 General Election after
three Russian nationals, including Eduard Vasiliov, arrived in Grenada under the pretext that they were going to be engaged in meetings with officials from the Ministry of Energy. They checked into a prominent hotel in the south of the island.
Reports circulating after the arrival of the trio at a prominent resort in the south of the island that Bowen, visited the same hotel that evening.
On January 31st the Russians were detained and questioned by the police after it was revealed that the Ministry of Energy had no records of any such request for meetings from the Russians.
Upon being released, the Russians chartered a plane and departed for St Lucia. Bowen allegedly departed aboard a private jet owned by a Trinidadian company, BRIKO, for St. Lucia and returned later that day.