Large block granted in southern Belize

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 1 — Providence Energy Belize Ltd., Houston, has acquired exploration and production rights to 531 sq miles in and off southern Belize.

The award consists of a mostly offshore block in the Gulf of Honduras from Punta Gorda to New Haven and another block over and southeast of Glover Reef off Dangriga. The agreement provides for 8 years for exploration and 25 years per discovered oil field.

Nearly all of the 57 wells drilled in Belize had oil shows or are producing oil, “indicating the source rock is exceptional,” said Scott Bayless, chief executive officer of Providence Energy Group.

Kyou Kim, Providence’s senior geologist, noted that part of Mexico’s western coast is a subduction zone where the organic-rich sedimentary Pacific basin is folding underneath the Mexican continental shelf at 5-15 cm/year.

Bayless said the lands covered by the agreement “are strategically positioned in southern Belize where we believe a major oil migration path extends from Southern Mexico and the subduction zone, through Guatemala, into Belize.”

Belize began producing oil in 2006 when Belize Natural Energy Ltd. and CHX LLC, private Denver independents, found 38° gravity sweet crude near Spanish Lookout in the northern part of the country about 55 miles west-southwest of Belize City (OGJ Online, Feb. 24, 2006).

R. Ramanathan, consultant to the Belize government, said in March 2006 that he believes the next discoveries in Belize will be made in the “southern offshore basin, where it is continuous with the field of Guatemala…and also the southern basin on land near Crique Sarco, Monkey River, and the Punta Gorda Belt…and more in the southern offshore basin including Glover’s Reef.” Providence’s lands encompass these areas.

The lands contain oil seeps, gas seeps, tar balls, and oil slicks, Bayless said. They lie about 300 miles southeast of Mexico’s giant Cantarell fields in the Bay of Campeche.

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