Jamaica’s Quest for Oil

(First written Feb 14, 2007)

Jamaica has embarked on a serious quest for “the black gold “(oil) for sometime now, and seems now more than ever to be on track in finding good oil deposit. This is based on the recent comments coming from the Group Managing Director of Petrojam at a recent function in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

While the Ministry of Commerce and Petrojam are all excited about the possibility of finding the black gold, I am far from being excited.

I am, like most Jamaicans, are very concerned about our voracious appetite for oil. This is based on our current consumption and our ever increasing oil bill, coupled with the fact that we will spend close to US$1B this year to satisfy our craving.

My reason for lack of excitement stems from the fact that, rather than trying to reduce our energy consumption we are trying desperately to find the easy way out. We are one of the few countries in the world where our
peak energy demand is greater after 6pm, (when most persons are at home) rather than during the days when we are supposed to be the most productive.
This is a clear indication that we use a lot more energy for domestic purpose rather than industrial and commercial activities, a sign that we are not a productive nation.

My other reason which, I consider to be the most far reaching,  stem from the fact that I strongly believe that the country will not reap the rewards if we ever find oil. Those which have been given the opportunity to explore for oil and manage to find it, will be richly rewarded as our technocrats never seems able to sign agreements which ensure that Jamaicans are the main beneficiaries. Instead we seem eager to ensure that our foreign investors exploit the resources of this country much to the detriment of the populace.

My final comment is that our country is so steeped in corruption, that money that actually makes it way into the country coffers will somehow slip through much like the slippery black gold itself.
Nigeria is today the eleventh largest producer of oil in the world, but look at the economic situation in that Country, in addition to the fact that the
populace has not participated in the process, Nigeria is today ranked as one of the most corrupt country in the world. The day Jamaica strikes oil, will be the beginning of the path to knock Nigeria from the top.

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One Response

  1. i cannot believe that I wrote this 7 years ago and just yesterday, we would have been commenting on the very same thing .

    Once PP is involved in anything, its is likely to end in disaster

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