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Date: 18 Dec, 2014
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Barbados has initialled an exploration licence with the international oil exploration giant BHP Billiton, to begin the search for oil and gas off-shore.

The country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Christopher Sinckler, made this announcement recently, as he delivered a Ministerial Statement on the Economy in the House of Assembly.

According to Minister Sinckler, the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart, will be making a public announcement on this new arrangement. He added that the principals of BHP Billiton will sign the formal documents at a public event.

“With the new strategic offshore oil exploration policy framework in place, it is expected that within the coming months, other similar licences will be signed following the appropriate tendering process,” he disclosed.

During his presentation, the Finance Minister pointed out that the expansion in alternative energy production and consumption, the continued push in building the international business and financial services platform to protect and grow this vital sector, along with “exciting” tourism prospects, augured well for further growth and diversification of the economy.

He also noted that there were a number of multi-million investments on the horizon for 2015. “Between these projects and the others to come, Barbados’ economy is expected to receive a much needed boost of new FDI [foreign direct investment] of over 1.5 billion Barbados dollars over the next two years or so. This will no doubt create major economic activity, including job creation, spending during construction and increased tourism value added once the projects are completed,” he surmised.