The Bahamian government has cleared the way for exploratory offshore drilling to start ahead of a planned referendum giving its citizens a say in the country’s energy future.
Drilling will likely begin by early next year and be conducted by Bahamas Petroleum. The first well may be to the south of the Andros Islands in the Old Bahamas Channel, adjacent to where Russian firm Zarubezhneft is drilling in Cuban waters.
This would place another drilling operation less than 320km (200 miles) from Florida’s coast, which has at least one South Florida politician worried. Joe Garcia, a Democrat whose district runs from Kendall to Key West, has said he fears what would happen to Florida’s coast in the event of a spill.