BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 23, 2015–Since last year, US Capital Energy has been exploring for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Toledo, and although it has not yet declared a commercial oil find at its first well site on what the Maya contend is ancestral territory, the company’s local representative, Alistair King, told Amandala today that they are putting everything in place in the hope that they will be able to start extracting crude oil – as well as natural gas – within the next two to three weeks, but only for testing.
Toledo residents may have seen crude oil tankers (photo taken by Wil Maheia of PGTV) in the area, and that is because US Capital has arranged with Belize Natural Energy (BNE) and Maranco to have those crude oil trucks available to facilitate transportation and export from the Big Creek Port.
However, King stressed that the extraction, which may run anywhere from 30 to 90 days if oil is found, would be carried out as part of the testing phase – and not commercial production.
(Of note, though, is that extraction could yield thousands of barrels a day.)
When we last reported on US Capital operations in the south, we told you that the drilling equipment which had been imported from Mexico had already been returned, but it was not because US Capital was closing operations. We found out from King as well as Director of Geology and Petroleum Andrew Cho that the company was awaiting the importation of different equipment to carry out further exploratory works.
King explained that the equipment, which would permit the first coil tubing operations in Belize, has arrived from the US and is currently being set up in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
He said that they had last drilled down to 54 feet short of 10,000 feet and had found natural gas and shows of oil. The newly imported equipment would permit them to drill further and commence extraction of testing, to determine whether the natural gas found was an isolated air pocket, or whether it is an indication of a substantial crude oil deposit further down in the well. By this Wednesday, that equipment should be activated, King told us.
If natural gas is found, it could provide a local supply of fuel to supplement the production by BNE of liquefied petroleum gas for cooking, as well as fuel for commercial and industrial energy needs, such as powering up turbines, King told us.
The US Capital rep also indicated that the company may drill other well sites in the Toledo district in the future.