Further to BPC's announcements of 29 December 2020, 30 December 2020 and 31 December 2020, The Honourable Justice Petra Hanna-Weekes has provided her ruling on various matters (as referred to in those prior announcements).
In summary, the Court's ruling is as follows:
- The Honourable Justice Petra Hanna-Weekes has refused to grant any orders that would affect BPC's current operations. This means that the drilling of Perseverance #1 will continue;
- The application from Environmentalists against the Government of The Bahamas to seek leave to bring judicial review proceedings in respect of various decisions taken by the Government in relation to BPC's licences in The Bahamas has been granted; and
- A timetable for further hearings has been established as follows:
- A hearing to determine if BPC should be formally added as a party to the action will be held on 14 January 2021. At this hearing, The Honourable Justice Petra Hanna-Weekes will also provide further directions relating to the future hearings detailed below;
- A further hearing to determine the Government's request for security for costs against the applicants will be heard on 22 January 2021; and
- Thereafter, a hearing in relation to the substantive judicial review will be held either in mid-February 2021, or during March 2021, depending on the availability of the Court and the parties, with a ruling on the substantive application to follow at some point thereafter.
Drilling of the Perseverance #1 exploration well in The Bahamas has been underway since 20 December 2020 (consistent with previous announcements prior to Christmas 2020). The well remains on track to take 45 - 60 days from commencement to complete, at which time BPC will be in a position to inform shareholders of the outcome of the well.
BPC will provide further updates in relation to the legal process as and when there are any material developments.
Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said:
"Today's Court ruling means that the drilling of Perseverance #1 will continue, in accordance with our licences obligations, and consistent with the permits issued to the Company by the Government of The Bahamas. Those drilling operations, which have been underway since 20 December 2020, have the well on track to provide results within the 45 - 60 days period the Company has consistently advised. It is thus clear now that the applicants have failed in their last-minute attempt to interrupt the drilling of Perseverance #1 and the Government's legitimate assessment of hydrocarbon resource potential in its southern seas. This is a very positive outcome for the completion of the Perseverance #1 well."