Prime Minister’s Toledo District Tour Addresses US Capital Energy Agreements
As we have reported, Prime Minister John Briceno is into the second day of his tour in the Toledo District. He has been accompanied by Area Representatives, Mike Espat and Oscar Requena, as he visited several government offices including immigration, customs, police, as well as the hospital and the Saint Benedict Roman Catholic School. Last night, he made a special appearance on Sunshyne Radio in Punta Gorda Town where he spoke on the recent consent agreements with US Capital Energy. According to the Prime Minister, these agreements would translate to increased employment and revenues for the Toledo District.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “You have this company US Capital that they are of the firm belief that there is oil in the Toledo district. And it’s unfortunate that they’ve had a lot of setbacks for example like COVID19 but now the whole issue of the Maya rights have kept them back from doing the seismic testing. And we need to move this forward. So we’re almost there, we have the I think we have only about two more villages that are left to sign on and with that now US Capital can start its work to be able to do the seismic testing which would hire probably a hundred or more people to work and then after that once they do the seismic testing and they believe they identify where the oil well is then to come in and to do some drilling and once we do that and we find the oil and then produce it that will create economic activity in the Toledo district and then by creating that economic activity then you create more jobs and more people are working and then the more people are working the more they spend, the more they spend the more business so it’s just something that continues to grow and so we believe ti is in the interest of Toledo and for this country for us to do the seismic testing to see if we could find oil. And if we could find oil then it will be able to go a long way.”
Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Cordel Hyde, says there is concrete evidence that the areas of exploration are rich in oil. However, he says the dollar value of the oil deposits is unknown.
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “All the experts say it’s there. We can only go by what they say. So we have to go through this process and hopefully we do find oil, because I think the country needs it. Toledo certainly needs it. The benefits that can be derived from finding oil and all the revenue that comes with that, if applied properly, can mean some real development for some areas in this country that’s been left behind for too long. But the experts say it’s there, below the ground. It’s our job now to try to figure out how we get it to benefit those of us on top of the ground.”
Reporter: Is there a dollar value for those oil deposits believed to be in those communities?
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “It’s hard to say. The folks think that a substantial oil is there. But we gotta find it. We gotta find it and we gotta determine whether it’s in commercial quantities. But they feel it’s larger than the BNE field and that ended up fetching the government $600 million in revenue. And if it’s anything near that, we’re gonna get more than that in terms of the revenue sharing from the PSA.”