Energy Minister, Gregory Bowen, said that the Russian-owned Global Petroleum Group (GPG) had run into financial problems after the first drilling and could not continue the exploration for more wells. But, he added, the company has since entered into a partnership with a Chinese company.
“Financing was a problem but I am happy to report that the investors have now teamed up with a group from the People’s Republic of China who will be providing the financing, not only to drill the other three wells but to conduct all the production that is necessary for Grenada to benefit,” Bowen told the convention of the ruling New National Party (NNP) on October 28.
However, Bowen did not provide the name of the Chinese company that partnered with GPG.
According to public records, GPG, which registered in Grenada in 2003, was listed as having 100 million shares. As of December 2017, the Belizean company, Multiple Investment Ltd, was listed as a shareholder.
Bowen told NNP supporters that there is a need for them to exercise patience pertaining to the benefits of the oil and gas sector: “Let us wait for the next year when we can drill the wells before we can say we are out of the doldrums economically.”
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell announced that GPG had been successful in its exploration of the island’s marine space by GPG and testing conducted by the relevant international authorities had confirmed the presence of commercial quality gas and oil.
The Trinidad and Tobago National Gas Company has since announced it had finalised a commercial agreement with Global Petroleum Group which provides for Trinidad and Tobago to have the first option to buy Grenada’s natural gas. Since then, government officials have been reserved about providing information about developments in the local oil and gas sector.
Recently, the Government of Grenada and the People’s Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, described the initiative “as an important step that will bring tremendous benefits to the people of both countries to promote international cooperation to a larger scale”.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in other countries.
Over the past six months five other Caribbean countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana and Suriname — have signed MoUs with China on the Belt and Road initiative.