Exploratory drilling in order to find natural gas will commence within 2.5 years in at least one location north of Aruba. The consortium of Repsol and Total, that is searching for gas under the sea around Aruba, has decided to enter fase three of the process, which is exploratory drilling.
According to the director of Compania Arubano Petrolero (CAP), Armando Curet, the positive decision has to do with the situation on the energy market. ,, The price of gas has been low, so companies were reluctant to make large investments. Now the situation has changed, since the gas prices are rising.”
For the past three years, Repsol has been exploring the bottom of the sea around the island. First a two-dimensional map of the sea floor was made, and when that looked promising, the next fase was executed, 3-D mapping. After analyzing the data, Repsol and Total decided to start the drilling process. ,,Exploratory drilling should reveal if there really is gas present and if it is in exploitable quantities”, Curet explained.
Prime Minister Mike Eman himself made the good news public. ,, This is important for our future. Although it is not good to raise expectations that cannot be fulfilled, there is no doubt in this case. The exploratory drilling is going to happen. That is a huge step.”
Minister Mike de Meza of Tourism, Transport, Energy and Environment, emphasized that exploratory drilling has a price tag of at least fifty million dollars. ,,That’s a lot of money, so the consortium is really very positive.” The country manager of Repsol, William Hernandez, explained that in due course a floating drilling platform will be ankered at the drill site. ,,The drill site will be about forty kilometers from the coast, so it will not be visible from the island.”
The financial risk of the operation lies entirely with Repsol and Total. Aruba does not pay any costs, but shares in future revenues. ,,As Government we are going to change the oil laws of Aruba. There is a law under development that regulates where the profits from the gas go to. Our goal is that the people of Aruba will benefit from the money and not politicians,” De Meza said.