KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaican government says it has granted a two-year extension to the London-based United Oil and Gas Plc (UOG) to continue oil and gas exploration activities in the Walton Morant Basin offshore Jamaica.
In a statement, the Ministry of Science and Energy said the agreement will expire on January 31, 2026, or continue if UOG elects to move into the next exploration phase, which will be the drilling of a well offshore
It said that the extension comes as a result of comprehensive assessments, technical evaluations, and consultations that highlight the continued importance of the oil and gas sector.
The ministry said during the extension, UOG will execute the necessary stakeholder engagement exercises required to perform in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“In addition to the planned work in the extension licence, UOG will continue to identify potential partners from around the world to farm into the Walton Morant Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).”
The company has exclusive rights to explore oil and gas resources in the Walton Morant Basin by way of the PSA signed in 2014.
“The extension request submitted by UOG to the Ministry is an aggressive work programme that incorporates technical data acquisition in the offshore by way of seabed sampling after in-depth environmental permitting and stakeholder engagement. UOG will seek to reprocess and revise the 3-D seismic data acquired in 2018 with new technologies to better enhance the imaging of the offshore around the main prospects after this has been completed.
“The technical work programme presented will seek to further de-risk the Walton Morant Basin in an attempt to better understand the likelihood of oil and gas offshore the island, The statement said, adding that Jamaica has seen a considerable uptick in major oil companies looking at its prospects as the hydrocarbon exploration in the region moves forward since last year.
The ministry said that it is the aim of the government in 2024 and beyond will be to high-grade and de-risk identified prospects through international partnerships with an attempt to drill a well offshore, which will be the first in over 40 years.
It said it continues to remain cautiously optimistic in the search for oil and gas and will remain transparent by providing a platform for companies to explore oil and gas opportunities in Jamaica.