BRB | Mar 2, 2023

Possible natural gas find off Barbados

/ Our Today

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Credible signs from studies under way to evaluate island’s offshore potential

There is much anticipation in Barbados today after international oil and gas explorer giant Woodside Energy found significant prospects for natural gas and potential for oil off the island’s coast in its assessment of offshore fossil fuel reserves.

The announcement of the find was made by Director of Natural Resources in the Ministry of Energy and Business Jamar White in an update to Parliament. The announcement was made during the parliamentary scrutiny of the 2023-2024 Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue, which continued on Monday (February 27).

It came less than a week after Kerrie Symmonds, senior minister for coordinating the productive sectors, pointed out that the likelihood of hydrocarbons being found offshore Barbados was high, based on studies under way to evaluate the island’s offshore potential.

Jamar White, director of natural resources in the Ministry of Energy and Business.

White told those gathered in Barbados’ House of Assembly that, after three years of Woodside Energy exploring a significant area of Barbados’ coast for oil and gas, it has made promising progress.

Progress report

According to White, “they completed a 2,600-square kilometre 3D seismic survey offshore Barbados in an effort to better understand what the prospectivity was. From what we are hearing – and we are awaiting official notice from the company – but what we are hearing is that the results look very encouraging.”

Continuing, he reported: “We are aware of the National Energy Policy which speaks of offshore resources for export, and the studies indicate that we are very prospective for natural gas offshore because of where we are located [and] because of other tests and studies that have been done. With that natural gas, we believe that we have a substantial resource that can help us to not only power the country but provide resources for export in the future.”


Woodside has also partnered with multinational oil and gas company Shell to increase the exploration possibilities of oil and gas being discovered, which is another promising sign.

White reported that “we seem to be very prospective for natural gas”. There is also an associated potential for oil as well, and with Shell coming on we believe that we will have some very encouraging signs as we move forward”.

Last year, the Government opened the bidding process on 22 blocks in Barbados’ waters to attract international oil firms to its potential offshore deposits.


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