Community & People
It is an important aspect of the Company’s work to liaise and consult extensively with all communities likely to be impacted by its activities and forge appropriate relationships across all aspects of business dealings with local contractors, regional authorities and Government. An important part of that communication is an anticipation of the future benefits to be derived from exploration success and subsequent oil development. The Company commits to continuing transparency involving all of its activities, believing that demonstrating such clarity concerning all of its operations shows a commitment to safeguarding the environment, and the interests of its employees, broader communities and wider stakeholders.
Separate presentations were given to:
- The Central Bank of The Bahamas
- The Securities Commission and Bahamas International Stock Exchange
- Bahamas Financial Services Board
- Chamber of Commerce and individual branches on many islands
- Bahamas National Trust
- Other party political representatives and members of the civil service
- Representatives of the technical and contractor community
- Hotelier associations
- Government Ministers and ministry officials
- Prominent members of the business community
- Chartered Engineers and Chartered Accountants associations
- Bahamas Christian Council
- Church representatives and various individual parishes, denominations, assemblies and communities
- Members of the house, Government and official opposition
- Retiree groups
- Trade Union representatives, various officials and unions
- Staff associations
- College of The Bahamas in various locations, staff and students
- Schools on many different Islands
- Consular groups and Ambassadors
- Rotarian and Kiwanian groups in different communities
- ‘Open evenings’ at the Nassau office
*We are open to presenting to any interested groups.
Other Governments, both within the Commonwealth and across the Caribbean, have considerable experience and history of resources development, emerging regulations, vocational training and skills development, relevant standards and monitoring of operations. It is important to be able to consult with and draw on the broader knowledge base available in order to assure that the most suitable technologies are being harnessed, the most up-to date international best practices are being followed and incorporated into emerging industry activities. Broad technical and commercial discussions have been held with the British, Australian, Cuban and Trinidadian authorities in order to facilitate cooperative working, shared knowledge and experience. International organisations also offer vast amounts of equipment knowledge and experience. Bahamas Petroleum Company is also a member of the domestic Bahamas Oil Spill Response Committee and has attended regional Caricom meetings designed to address many of these issues.
Focus Group Testing in The Bahamas
In October 2012 Bahamas Petroleum Company commissioned focus group testing to help determine Bahamian attitudes towards exploration and the general level of knowledge about the upstream oil and gas industry. Ten focus groups were conducted in total during last October. Four focus groups were conducted in Nassau, two in Freeport, two in Nicholls Town, Andros and two in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. The groups ranged in size and composition with each group session running over two hours in length. The presence of an active upstream oil and gas industry is a relatively new consideration for most Bahamians as The Bahamas has not seen an oil and gas exploration well drilled in over 25 years – most people do not know that five oil exploration wells in total have already been drilled in The Bahamas. Thus given their potential lack of familiarity Bahamas Petroleum Company felt it was important to gain a better understanding concerning what Bahamians know about the industry and how they feel towards the prospect of offshore exploration and, in the event of success, an oil development.
The focus groups showed that Bahamians generally view the opportunity for oil development as positive and that they have a thirst for more knowledge about the industry and Bahamas Petroleum Company. In particular – the experience of the staff, the people and their track record. Many respondents felt that potential revenue from oil royalties could have a transformational impact on the country’s economy, infrastructure and services. When residents were informed that The Bahamas’ regional neighbours were already exploring for and producing oil they felt strongly that The Bahamas should also pursue this opportunity. However, when respondents recalled the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010 they wanted reassurance that oil activities would be conducted in a safe and responsible manner.
In regards to Bahamas Petroleum Company, most Bahamians indicated that they have some familiarity with the Company, although many respondents were unable to offer specific information about Bahamas Petroleum Company. After being presented with background information about Bahamas Petroleum Company, most respondents appreciated and responded favourably to the Company’s international expertise and the experience of management in each of its disciplines.