Irish firm Tullow chosen for oil exploration in Jamaica

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    ISH firm Tullow Oil plc is expected to be announced this morning as the company selected by the Jamaican Government to engage in oil and gas exploration here.

    Tullow, which operates in 21 countries, is expected to conduct three-dimensional exploration which, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) sources said, will provide better information regarding the existence of oil in Jamaican waters.

    Yesterday, Tullow Oil’s Head of Media Relations George Cazenove was non-committal in response to a Jamaica Observer query on Sunday seeking confirmation of his firm’s involvement in Jamaica.

    “Thank you for your query,” he responded via e-mail. “Alas, I am not able to comment on your story.”

    For some years now Jamaica has been trying to find out whether fossils detected offshore are enough for commercial extraction.

    Of the previous exploration ventures, the most promising was from Canadian firm Sagres Energy, which said it detected possible reserves of some three billion barrels off Pedro Cay.

    The PCJ, in its media advisory on today’s announcement, pointed out that it has been aggressively pursuing proven explorers to undertake oil and gas exploration and that these efforts have borne fruit.

    On the weekend, government sources said Tullow was a reputable company with a track record of success in a number of African countries.

    On its website, Tullow says it holds 147 licences, 66 producing fields, and has a workforce in excess of 2,000 worldwide.

    “In 2013, 37 of the 57 exploration and appraisal wells drilled, discovered hydrocarbons,” says the company, which was founded in 1985 and signed its first licence in Senegal in 1986.

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer Aidan Heavey says he started the company “in a small town called Tullow, about 35 miles south of Dublin, Ireland”.

    “They had some small gas fields that they were trying to get people to develop, so I set up Tullow Oil to rework those old fields. I knew nothing about the oil and gas industry at the time, which made it more challenging. No one thought Tullow would succeed because of my lack of knowledge of the industry, no major backers, and I was starting a company in a country with no oil industry,” Heavey says on the company’s website.

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