By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
As Belize’s oil industry continues it’s downward spiral, revenue derived from the industry is at the second lowest it has been since extraction began, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
In 2014 the industry only earned $102 million in revenue, coming in some $15 million above the $87.5 million when the industry first began. the figure is far less compared to the $236.5 million in 2007, and the $292 million in 2012.
With extraction amounts decreasing every month and the world market price of oil remaining low, it is estimated that within three years the industry will be making less than it was at start up.
The latest SIB statistics shows third-quarter oil extraction being the lowest it has been since 2008.
Former Chief Executive Officer in the ministry responsible for Petroleum at the time, Dr. Colin Young, explained that the decline in the oil industry was well within the projections of Belize Natural Energy Limited, the only company to find oil in Belize.
“It is estimated that the decrease will continue and by 2024 it will be down to 1000 barrels per day,” Young said.
The Reporter reached out to Director of the Geology and Petroleum department, Andre Cho, for an update on how many of the six oil companies operating in Belize were still operating, however he was unavailable for comment.
During his last interview earlier this year, Cho explained that the only company which had any indication of oil potential was US Capital Energy Limited, which was conducting operations in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
If more oil is not discovered soon, and global prices continue to decline, the industry will become unprofitable way before production flat-lines in 2024.