StatoilHydro has reached agreement with Bahamas-based oil and gas company BPC to become the operator of three offshore exploration licences in the area.

The licences are Zapata, Islamorada and Falcones which lie in the Cay Sal region of the south-western Bahamas.

Limited historic 2D seismic and satellite data indicate the presence of several large structures in the licence areas. New seismic data may prove the presence and shape of the structures, the company said in a statement.

“There is no drilling commitment during the first phase of the licence. At the end of the initial three-year licence term the licence holders will have the option to commit to drilling a well in the second phase,” said Global Exploration vice-president Erik Finnstrom.

Approval and award of the licences by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is still pending, said StatoilHydro.

Oil is presently produced in northern Cuba, some 150km to the west.

By staff writer