Belize Natural Energy (BNE) recorded a 27.5 percent decline in production from January to June this year, and the gloomy downward trend will continue if the company doesn’t get a new oil exploration license, BNE’s Marketing Manager Daniel Gutierez said Tuesday.
According to the Central Bank of Belize (CBB)’s economic brief for the first half of 2012, the decline in oil production is “significantly steeper than the 10.0% annual average decline that had been projected.”
BNE produced 545, 441 barrels of petroleum during the first half of the year. This is much lower than the 752, 546 and the 776, 920 barrels that the company produced in the same period for 2011 and 2010, respectively.
While it is difficult to determine exactly how much longer BNE has before its Spanish Lookout and Never Delay wells expire, Gutierez said it is possible that the company may have anywhere between five to ten more years before they have to end their operations.
The Spanish Lookout site, which produces 2600 barrels per day, is the primary well. But Gutierez explained that with the expected depletion of that well, the company has been looking for strategic ways to increase the output of the Never Delay well, which currently provides only 200 to 300 barrels per day.
To date, BNE has the only commercial oil fields in Belize, but based on a Cabinet decision late last year, the Department of Geology and Petroleum did not renew the company’s eight-year exploration license which expired last January.
Perenco Limited, a multinational oil and gas company, which was one of four companies that reportedly applied for a licence to explore in the area, was awarded the license.