BPC Court Success; Perseverance #1 Insurance Again Confirmed

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January 25, 2021

On 22 January 2021 The Honourable Justice Petra Hanna-Adderley ruled in favour of BPC to allow BPC to join the Government as a respondent to the application for a judicial review of various Government decisions related to BPC’s licences and the drilling of the Perseverance #1 exploratory well. The application has been brought by various environmentalist groups. This ruling aligns BPC and the Government in resisting the claims to be raised in the judicial review, which has been set down for a hearing on March 29 and 30, 2021.

Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said:

“International and local environmentalist groups had argued that BPC should not be a party to the judicial review action they have brought, a nonsensical position given that virtually all communications and documents issued by these groups refer directly and extensively to BPC. We’re therefore pleased that the court has ruled in favour of BPC by being added as a primary respondent. As a consequence of this ruling BPC is now legally enabled to request that the applicants provide security for costs, and a hearing for this has been scheduled for 17 February 2021. Obviously, BPC would want the environmentalist groups to be held financially accountable if their application turns out to have been without merit.”

Environmentalist groups have continued throughout to make a wide range of allegations of a misleading nature, in an effort to undermine the reputation of BPC and influence public opinion in their favour, notwithstanding the ongoing Court proceedings.

Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said:

"Despite numerous opportunities and requests over many, many years from BPC to the environmentalist groups to input constructively into a wide range of detailed processes and documents, they have opted instead to do nothing, and then belatedly and at the last minute try to derail a project more than a decade in the planning and which, in the event of success, would be for the betterment of The Bahamas. Their attempts to date have not been successful and drilling of Perseverance #1 continues. By April we will know if the Bahamas is an oil rich nation.”

Most recently, these misleading allegations by environmentalist groups have included an attempt to alarm the public by issuing various communications suggesting that BPC’s oil exploration activities were uninsured. This has proven to be another falsehood.

Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said:

“BPC has repeatedly advised that it had placed an extensive suite of insurance policies to cover drilling operations for Perseverance #1. Insurance was arranged by leading global insurance agent, Aon UK Ltd, and placed with a panel of insurers comprising of Lloyd's of London and International Company markets (with all meeting local Bahamian insurance regulations), all of which have a financial rating of "A" or higher from Standard & Poor's. The policy utilises internationally recognised wordings and complies with BPC's contractual obligations, including cover levels considerably in excess of those stipulated as being required by the Government of The Bahamas.

“Ignoring these statements by BPC, which were issued in compliance with BPC’s strict legal obligations of truthful continuous disclosure, environmentalist groups have released various communications designed to cast doubt and aspersion around BPC’s insurance. This included the environmental groups attempting to point to non-existent “contradictory statements” relating to BPC’s insurance policy, going so far as to quote a supposed communication with an executive at Lloyd’s Corporation of London to the effect that BPC had not actually secured insurance as advised. This is factually incorrect: BPC is appropriately insured and has been for the entire duration of its exploration drilling programme. Moreover, this fact has now been directly confirmed - by both Lloyd’s of London and AON - to various journalists in both The Bahamas and internationally.

"Frankly, it is curious that environmentalist groups have seen fit to make a series of half-baked allegations relating to matters of fact concerning BPC’s insurance policies which enquiring journalists have then been able to disprove with a couple of telephone calls.

“BPC, as a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, is subject to strict UK regulatory oversight, including clear obligations to tell the truth in all communications. It would appear, however, that those opposed to BPC’s activities consider distorting facts and spreading untruths as ‘fair game’ - evidence, once again, of the extraordinary lengths those opposed to BPC’s activities are willing to stoop in order to progress their agenda. Furthermore, deliberate spreading of mistruths constitutes libel, and BPC considers that those responsible – including the individuals making these statements – should be held to account. Environmentalist groups opposed to BPC’s activities are perfectly entitled to their views, but that does not mean they should be allowed to spread mistruths without consequence.”

Drilling of the Perseverance #1 exploration well in The Bahamas has been underway since 20 December 2020 (consistent with previous announcements prior to Christmas 2020). The well remains on track to take 45 - 60 days from commencement to completion.

News date : 01/25/2021    Category : About Bahamians, Press Releases

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