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USA: ANGA Provides CNG Buses for Republican National Convention

America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) announced that it is providing buses fueled by clean, affordable, American compressed natural gas (CNG) for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The 12 shuttle buses, dubbed the GOP EZ Shuttles, will transport convention participants on specific routes to several hotels, as well as attractions in the Tampa Bay area, including Ybor City and Busch Gardens. ANGA is working with local utility TECO Peoples Gas and Ultimate CNG to provide CNG fuel for the buses.

CNG fuel provides significant cost savings over diesel-fueled buses. When compared to diesel, compressed natural gas costs about $1.69 less per gallon equivalent. CNG also offers fleets an American fuel choice that is cleaner for the environment.

“We are proud to have this opportunity to provide transportation to convention participants in Tampa and to give them a first-hand experience with natural gas vehicles,” said ANGA President and Chief Executive Office Regina Hopper. “Companies and local leaders across the country are embracing natural gas as a fuel choice and calling for more vehicle options and filling stations to help drive this change. Our message in Tampa and beyond is that this is an extraordinary opportunity for our nation, and it’s time to get on board with this American fuel choice.”

Tampa and St. Petersburg are already taking advantage of natural gas as a clean, affordable, American transportation fuel, using it for airport transit vehicles and as part of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit system starting next year. The decision to employ natural gas vehicles will add up to substantial cost savings and environmental benefits over the life of the vehicles.

“As mayor, I have seen firsthand the benefits that natural gas vehicles can bring in terms of lower fuel costs and clean air. I am pleased to welcome natural gas buses to the convention. These buses will not only provide a cleaner, cheaper method of transport but will also connect the thousands of guests here for various convention events to our local attractions,” said City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

“We’re delighted that these 12 natural gas vehicles – what we call ‘the Clean Dozen’ – will be part of our convention,” said William Harris, CEO of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements. “Energy independence is critical to Mitt Romney’s vision of a better future for all Americans, which is what this convention is all about.”

Thanks to recent discoveries of vast supplies of shale gas throughout our nation, the United States is now the world’s leading producer of this versatile energy resource that can be used for transportation, power generation and industrial purposes. Greater use of natural gas vehicles can save money, create American jobs and enhance U.S. energy security. Leading companies such as Ryder, Verizon and AT&T have invested in natural gas vehicles for their fleets.

Natural gas production is responsible for nearly 3 million jobs and adds $385 billion annually to our economy. Abundant domestic supplies also translate into affordable energy, increasing the disposable income for the average American household by an estimated $926 this year.

Florida is the second largest user of natural gas in the country, with 62 percent of the state’s electricity generation coming from natural gas. According to a recent IHS study, natural gas supported more than 15,000 jobs in Florida in 2010. That number is expected to rise to more than 30,000 by 2035. In addition, IHS found that natural gas will contribute more than $23 billion in government revenue to Florida by 2035

ANGA also will be providing buses for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

USA: ANGA Provides CNG Buses for Republican National Convention LNG World News.

BP targets availability of two new biofuels by 2014

by Bloomberg

BP Plc (BP/) is testing two advanced biofuels that could be commercially available by 2014, said Philip New, chief executive officer of the U.K. petroleum company’s biofuels unit.

The company is planting energy grasses to feed a 36 million gallon-a-year cellulosic ethanol plant planned in Florida, he said in an interview in London today. A demonstration biobutanol plant in Hull, England, is operating, New said. A bioethanol plant in the same location should be producing by the end of this year, he said.

Biofuels could account for 9 percent of global transport fuels used by 2030, up from 3 percent now, according to BP. Drivers include climate-change targets in the U.S. and Europe, energy security concerns and the possibility the fuels may be a lucrative crop for ailing rural communities, New said.

“If you believe that demand for transport fuels is going to grow significantly, if you believe that for the foreseeable future we’re going to carry on using internal combustion engines and liquid fuels, then biofuels are going to be the only complement to crude oil that’s out there,” he said.

Cellulosic ethanol uses micro-organisms to break down fibrous plants, making it possible to produce fuel from energy grasses. Unlike sugar cane, which flourishes around the equator, the grasses can be grown anywhere.

Biobutanol is produced by fermenting plant sugars and can be blended with gasoline at higher concentrations. Existing bioethanol can be retrofitted to produce biobutanol, New said. Biobutanol is a type of alcohol that’s used as a fuel.

BP is looking at sites in Texas, Florida and Louisiana where it could farm energy grasses and build new plants, he said. The company is targeting a cost of $60 to $80 a barrel by 2024 from $140 to $150 a barrel today, New said.
The two fuels and a new sugar-to-diesel product will be trialled in 100 vehicles during the London Olympic Games.

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Urgent!! please watch !!!!! Muslim Brotherhood-linked ISNA invades Tampa to re-elect Obama

A Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) will hold a pro-shariah Conference in Tampa, Florida on May 11 – 13, 2012. ISNA is a cultural jihad organization that has been designated as an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in the federal terrorism financing case called – Holy land Foundation Trial. The Muslim Brotherhood is actively working to get President Obama re-elected.

Published on May 4, 2012 by jmarkcampbell

After watching this, if it CONCERNS you… Please click HERE for more about how Imam Obama is selling us to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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APNewsBreak: US oil spill plan prepares for Cuba >>> “show me the Plan”

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By JENNIFER KAY, Associated Press – 2 days ago

MIAMI (AP) — If a future oil spill in the Caribbean Sea threatens American shores, a new federal plan obtained by The Associated Press would hinge on cooperation from neighboring foreign governments. Now that Cuba is the neighbor drilling for oil, cooperation is hard to guarantee.

The International Offshore Response Plan draws on lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and was created to stop offshore oil spills as close to their source as possible, even in foreign waters. The plan dated Jan. 30 has not been released publicly. The AP obtained a copy through a Freedom of Information Act request.

After crude oil stained Gulf Coast beaches, state and federal officials are eager to head off even the perception of oil spreading toward the coral reefs, beaches and fishing that generate tens of billions of tourist dollars for Florida alone.

The plan comes as Spanish oil company Repsol YPF conducts exploratory drilling in Cuban waters and the Bahamas considers similar development for next year. Complicating any oil spill response in the Florida Straits, though, is the half-century of tension between the U.S. and its communist neighbor 90 miles south of Florida.

Under the plan dated Jan. 30, the Coast Guard’s Miami-based 7th District would take the lead in responding to a spill affecting U.S. waters, which includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The district’s operations cover 15,000 miles of coastline and share borders with 34 foreign countries and territories.

Repsol’s operations in Cuban waters are not subject to U.S. authority, but the company allowed U.S. officials to inspect its rig and review its own oil spill response plan.

“We’ve demonstrated already and we continue to demonstrate that we’re a safe, responsible operator doing all in its power to carry out a transparent and safe operation,” Respol spokesman Kristian Rix said Thursday.

Rix declined to elaborate on the company’s response plans, but he did say two minor recommendations made by U.S. officials inspecting the rig were immediately put in place.

If an oil spill began in Cuban waters, Cuba would be responsible for any spill cleanup and efforts to prevent damage to the U.S., but the Coast Guard would respond as close as possible.

Though a 50-year-old embargo bars most American companies from conducting business with Cuba and limits communication between the two governments, the Coast Guard and private response teams have licenses from the U.S. government to work with Cuba and its partners if a disaster arises.

The U.S. and Cuba have joined Mexico, the Bahamas and Jamaica since November in multilateral discussions about how the countries would notify each other about offshore drilling problems, said Capt. John Slaughter, chief of planning, readiness, and response for the 7th District.

He said channels do exist for U.S. and Cuban officials to communicate about spills, including the Caribbean Island Oil Pollution Response and Cooperation Plan. That’s a nonbinding agreement, though, so the Coast Guard has begun training crews already monitoring the Cuban coastline for drug and migrant smuggling to keep an eye out for problems on the Repsol rig.

William Reilly, co-chairman of the national commission on the Deepwater Horizon spill and head of the EPA during President George H.W. Bush, said the Coast Guard generated goodwill in Cuba by notifying its government of potential risks to the island during the 2010 spill.

It would be hard for the Cuban government to keep any spill secret if Repsol and other private companies were responding, Slaughter said.

“Even if we assume the darkest of dark and that the Cuban government wouldn’t notify us, we’d hear through industry chatter and talk. If the companies were notified, I’m quite confident we would get a phone call before they fly out their assets,” he said.

Funding for a U.S. response to a foreign spill would come from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund managed by the Coast Guard. As of Feb. 29, that fund contained $2.4 billion.

The plan covers many lessons learned from the 2010 spill, like maintaining a roster of “vessels of opportunity” for hire and making sure the ships that are skimming and burning oil offshore can store or treat oily water for extended periods of time. Other tactics, like laying boom, have been adapted for the strong Gulf Stream current flowing through the Florida Straits.

What the plan doesn’t cover is the research on how an oil spill might behave in the straits, said Florida International University professor John Proni, who’s leading a group of university and federal researchers studying U.S. readiness for oil spills.

Among the unknowns are the effect of dispersants on corals and mangroves, how oil travels in the major currents, the toxicity of Cuban and how to determine whether oil washing ashore in the U.S. came from Cuba.

“My view is that the Coast Guard has developed a good plan but it’s based on existing information,” so it’s incomplete, he said.

Former Amoco Oil Latin America president Jorge Pinon, now an oil expert at the University of Texas, said the Coast Guard had a solid plan.

He cautioned against recent congressional legislation introduced by one of South Florida’s three Cuban-American representatives to curtail drilling off Cuba by sanctioning those who help them do it. The bill is sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami.

Instead, Pinon said the U.S. needs to formalize agreements with Cuba about who would be in command if an oil well blew, because the U.S. has more resources available.

“The issue is not to stop the spill from reaching Florida waters, the issue is capping the well and shutting it down,” Pinon said. “We can play defense all we want, but we don’t want to play defense, we want to play offense, we want to cap the well.”

Reilly said the U.S. still needs to issue permits for equipment in the U.S. that would be needed if a Cuban well blew, Reilly said. For example, if a blowout occurred, the company would have to get a capping stack from Scotland, which could take up to a week.

“We know from Macondo that a great deal can happen in a week,” Reilly said. “I’ve been very concerned about getting the sanctions interpreted in a way that permits us to exercise some common sense.”

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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EIA: U.S. Gas Pipeline Companies Added 2,400 Miles of New Pipe in 2011

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report that it estimates that U.S. natural gas pipeline companies added about 2,400 miles of new pipe to the grid as part of over 25 projects in 2011.

New pipeline projects entered service in parts of the U.S. natural gas grid that can be congested: California, Florida, and parts of the Northeast. Only a portion of this capacity serves incremental natural gas use; most of these projects facilitate better linkages across the existing natural gas grid, the EIA said.

By convention, the industry expresses annual capacity additions as the sum of the capacities of all the projects completed in that year. By this measure, the industry added 13.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of new capacity to the grid in 2011. The six largest projects put into service in 2011 added 1,553 miles and about 8.2 Bcf/d of new capacity to the system. Much of this new capacity is for transporting natural gas between states rather than within states. Golden Pass, Ruby Pipeline, FGT Phase VIII, Pascagoula Expansion, and Bison Pipeline projects added 6.1 Bcf/d, or about 80%, of new state-to-state capacity.

The EIA said that natural gas pipeline capacity additions in 2011 were well above the 10 Bcf/d levels typical from 2001-2006, roughly the same as additions in 2007 and 2010, but significantly below additions in 2008 and 2009. Capacity added in 2008 and 2009 reflected a mix of intrastate and interstate natural gas pipeline expansions, related mostly to shale production, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and storage facilities.

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Cuba Oil Drilling Tests U.S. on Protecting Florida or Embargo

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By Katarzyna Klimasinska

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — Four U.S. inspectors armed with safety glasses and notebooks will set out on a mission next month to protect Florida’s beaches from a Cuban threat.

They’ll rendezvous in Trinidad and Tobago with the Scarabeo 9, a rig headed to deep waters off Cuba to drill for oil about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Florida’s Key West.

Repsol YPF SA is making the Scarabeo 9 available to the U.S. inspectors before the rig starts drilling closer to Florida than the BP Plc well that failed last year in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill. The exploration poses an environmental, political and diplomatic challenge to the U.S. more than 50 years after cutting off relations with Cuba’s communist regime.

The Obama administration’s dilemma is “what steps to take for environmental protection and how much to honor current Cuba policy,” Dan Whittle, Cuba program director at the New York- based Environmental Defense Fund, said in an interview.

In the aftermath of the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, the U.S. banned exports to Cuba in 1960, withdrew diplomatic recognition, backed the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and imposed a full trade embargo in 1962.

Now generations of animosity between the two nations limit cooperation on safety standards and cleanup precautions for the Cuba drilling planned by Madrid-based Repsol, which would be followed by state-owned companies from Malaysia to Venezuela. A conference on regional oil-spill response being held this week in Nassau, Bahamas, may provide a forum for discussions by U.S. and Cuban representatives.

Juan Jacomino, a spokesman for the Cuban Interests Section at the Swiss embassy in Washington, declined in an interview to comment on drilling off of the island nation.

Spare Parts

Repsol can use the Scarabeo 9 without violating the U.S. trade embargo because it was built at shipyards in China and Singapore, and fewer than 10 percent of its components are American, according to its owner, Eni SpA.

The sanctions would block spare parts from the U.S. for the rig’s blowout preventer, a safety device that failed in the BP spill. The restrictions also require Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. of Houston, which provides oil-spill containment equipment for Repsol in the Gulf of Mexico, to seek a waiver to do so in Cuban waters in case of an accident.

U.S. companies seeking to do business with Cuba must ask the Commerce Department, which considers most applications “subject to a policy of denial,” the agency says on its website. The Treasury Department weighs requests to travel from the U.S. to Cuba.

Granting too few permits for spill prevention and response would keep contractors from offering the technology and services developed after the BP spill, Lee Hunt, president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, said in an interview.

Cuban Exiles

Approving too many licenses would undermine the embargo, enriching a regime listed by the U.S. State Department as a nation supporting terrorism along with Iran, Sudan and Syria, according to anti-Castro lawmakers such as Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

U.S. “assistance, guidance and technical advice” to Repsol, including the planned visit to Scarabeo 9, may violate the law by “helping to facilitate” the company’s work and providing the Cuban government “with a financial windfall,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a Nov. 1 letter to President Barack Obama.

Ros-Lehtinen, who immigrated from Cuba with her family at age 8, is a leader among Cuban exiles in South Florida who have opposed easing U.S. restrictions. Florida, which has been a swing state in presidential elections, also has been a bastion of opposition to oil drilling that opponents say could despoil the beaches that are a prime draw for tourists.

Florida Drilling Foes

Lawmakers such as Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, have fought to keep drilling out of U.S. waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico bordering Florida.

Nelson and Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, introduced a bill Nov. 9 that would require foreign companies drilling in Cuban waters to pay for damage to U.S. territory without liability limits. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, joined as a cosponsor.

Oil from BP’s spill tarred beaches 150 miles away in Florida’s northwestern Panhandle.

Now Floridians are faced with drilling under the jurisdiction of Cubans, who “don’t have the resources” to control a blowout, Jorge Pinon, an energy consultant and visiting research fellow at the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University in Miami, said in an interview.

“If the U.S. is not willing to help” in an emergency, “the resources are going to come from Canada, Norway and the U.K., and it will take a very long time,” said Pinon, who led Amoco Corp. units in Mexico City and retired from BP in 2003, according to his biography.

Repsol’s Contract

Repsol signed a contract with Cuba in 2000, according to the company’s website, and confirmed the presence of oil with a Norwegian rig in 2004. Repsol will drill in about 5,000 feet (1.5 kilometers) to 6,000 feet of water, about the depth of BP’s Macondo well, according to Pinon.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, based in Kuala Lumpur; New Delhi-based Oil & Natural Gas Corp.; Hanoi-based Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, known as PetroVietnam; Caracas-based Petroleos de Venezuela SA; and Sonangol SA of Luanda, Angola, also hold Cuban blocks, Pinon said.

U.S. officials say they are doing all they can to ensure safe drilling off Cuba.

“We are quite focused, and have been for many, many months” on “doing anything within our power to protect U.S. shores and U.S. coastline,” Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an industry regulator, said in a Nov. 29 interview at Bloomberg’s Washington office.

Wild Well Control

The administration has issued some licenses to U.S. companies to respond to a spill in Cuban waters, Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, said in an e-mail. He didn’t say how many have been approved, and the Commerce and Treasury departments didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

Wild Well Control Inc. of Houston is one permit recipient, according to Hunt of the drilling contractors’ trade group. The company didn’t respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment.

“Helix plans to build a new subsea containment cap to safeguard drilling operations in Cuba,” Cameron Wallace, a spokesman for that company said in an e-mail about its request for U.S. licenses. “The cap and associated equipment will be staged at a U.S. port near to the drilling site to minimize response time.”

Walking the Deck

In their visit to the Scarabeo 9, two inspectors from the U.S. Coast Guard and two from the Interior Department will walk the deck and check generators, the positioning system and firefighting equipment, Brian Khey, who will be on the team, said in an interview.

The Americans will watch a firefighting simulation and conduct an abandon-ship drill, according to Khey, the supervisor at the Coast Guard’s Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise in Morgan City, Louisiana,

While the visitors will discuss with Repsol any deficiencies they find, they won’t have enforcement powers, Khey said. Nor will they be able to check the blowout preventer or the well casing and drilling fluid that will be used on site, according to the Interior Department.

Scarabeo 9 was built “according to the latest and most advanced international standards available at the time of her design and construction,” Rome-based Eni said in an e-mailed statement. “Health, safety and environmental protection are always a top priority.”

Eni Subsidiary

The vessel “is one of the very few units in the industry which is using a technology which is not an American one,” Pietro Franco Tali, chief executive officer of Eni’s oilfield- services subsidiary, Saipem SpA, said on an Oct. 27, 2010, conference call.

One U.S. component is the blowout preventer, made by Houston-based National Oilwell Varco Inc. The company hasn’t applied for a license to do business with Cuba and doesn’t plan to, Chief Financial Officer Clay Williams said in a phone interview.

That means rig operators will have to seek training and spare parts in Europe or Asia, according to Hunt, whose group represents 1,494 companies including Saipem.

“It’s like buying a Mercedes and being told you have to go to a Ford dealer for parts,” Hunt said in an interview.

The results of Cuba’s drilling may affect U.S. energy policy. Success would put pressure on the U.S. to open its waters surrounding Florida for exploration, Pinon said.

A serious accident off of Cuba could throw the industry out of the Gulf of Mexico, according to Brian Petty, executive vice president for governmental affairs of the drilling contractors’ group.

“A mess” in Cuban waters would lead critics of drilling to say, “Stop it, don’t let it go on anywhere,” Petty said.

–With assistance from Nicole Gaouette in Washington and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi. Editors: Judy Pasternak, Larry Liebert

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

350-foot specialized diving ship makes stop at Pensacola port

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The Skandi Achiever makes a stop at the Port of Pensacola on Wednesday for a crew change.
by Katie McFarland

The Port of Pensacola continues to be busy with the arrival of a specialized diving vessel Wednesday morning.

The Skandi Achiever, a dive-support boat, is stopping in Pensacola for an equipment and crew change, said Buddy McCormick, director of business development and public relations for Offshore Inland.

The saturation dive system allows 18 divers to trade off staying in four, three-man decompression chambers. The divers can descend and perform work on equipment like offshore rigs then recover from deep-water diving, McCormick said.

The 350-foot vessel arrived at the port at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after a trip from Europe, he said.

The vessel, owned by French oil and gas infrastructure giant Technip, will be at the port for four to five days before going on its next three- to four-week job in the Gulf of Mexico. It will return to Pensacola to pick up equipment after the job.

Technip recently purchased Global Industries and now owns the Global 1200 pipe-laying vessel that recently was berthed at the port and is scheduled to return Oct. 27.

Technip will have almost 30 vessels working in the Gulf of Mexico, McCormick said.

Offshore Inland leases a warehouse at the port and has the right of first refusal for vessels docking at berths one and two.

McCormick said he’s pleased with the recent influx of vessels at the port and hopes to create jobs by bringing even more into the port.

The massive catamaran-style lift with double golden arches that arrived at the port Oct. 7 is scheduled to depart today, port officials said.

The Versabar 10,000 stopped in Pensacola for routine maintenance because of high winds and seas in the Gulf. It was scheduled to depart Oct. 11, but made one trip into the Gulf and returned for a second stop Saturday.

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Bahamas oil drilling could begin by 2012

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By David Goodhue

As state, local and federal officials brace for a major offshore drilling operation to begin between Cuba in Key West in December, another exploratory well may be drilled a year later in the Bahamas.

The Bahamian and Cuban governments on Oct. 3 signed an agreement delimiting the two nations’ maritime borders after nearly 40 years of negotiations. The move cleared a major obstacle in the way of the Bahamas’ oil exploration goals since leases identified for their potential oil finds are near Cuban waters.

“Without the agreed border between the Bahamas and Cuba, there would be some uncertainty as to who actually owned the licenses,” Paul Gucwa, chief operating officer of the Bahamas Petroleum Co., told The Reporter in an email.

BPC is looking to partner with a major oil company to explore one of its four wells southwest of the Bahamas’ Andros Island. This would place yet another major drilling operation less than 200 miles from Florida’s coast.

A giant Italian-owned, Chinese-made semi-submersible oil rig is expected to begin drilling 6,000 feet below the surface in the Florida Straits in December. The Spanish oil company Repsol will be the first of nearly a dozen foreign energy companies to use the Scarabeo 9 rig to search for oil about 60 miles away from Key West.

Gucwa said the BPC plans to “spud” its first well in December 2012. The Bahamian government has a moratorium on granting new exploration licenses, but Jorge Piñon, a senior research associate at Florida International University, said that could change following the country’s May 2012 general elections. Piñon will discuss Cuba’s offshore energy plans at the Florida Keys EcoSummit in Key West on Nov. 3.

The Bahamas Petroleum Co. has contacted 10 major international oil companies about partnering in its oil exploration operations. Gucwa would not disclose the names, but said seven companies have visited BPC’s offices in Nassau.

Bahamian business leaders are pushing lawmakers in that country to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas exploration as a way to reduce the nation’s $4-billion-plus national debt, according to the Bahamian newspaper The Tribune.

The moratorium on new licenses was put in place following the 2010 DeepWater Horizon Macondo disaster that spilled millions barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

Gucwa said a similar type of spill could not happen in the Bahamas. In the Gulf of Mexico, the sediments consist of rapidly deposited sands and shales. As the sediments are quickly buried, water often times cannot escape and high and abnormal pressure develops.

The sediments in the Bahamas, Gucwa said, are carbonates that precipitate from sea water and are deposited “quite slowly.”

“It’s uncommon for high pressure to develop in these environments,” Gucwa said.

Original Article

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