Panama’s National Energy Secretariat has announced that 900 million barrels of oil have been detected at two basins in eastern Panama, representing a potential contribution to the Panamanian Treasury of $15 billion dollars over the next two decades at current oil prices.
Panamanian Energy Secretary Juan Manuel Urriola said that the Venezuelan firm OTS conducted the geological survey and detected the oil reserves in Panama’s Garachine-Sambu and Bayano-Chucunaque-Atrato basins in Darien province, which borders Colombia.
While the quality of the deposits’ oil has yet to be determined Urriola estimated their “commercial potential” at roughly $15 billion in taxes and royalties, based on OTS projected estimate of a per-barrel price of 100 dollars over the next 20 years, MercoPress news agency reported.
OTS recommended that in the bidding process the exploratory areas in the Garachine-Sambu and Bayano-Chucunaque-Atrato basins be divided into four geographical blocks per basin.
Urriola added that a bidding process for exploration rights and for determining the deposits’ quality and volume would begin before the end of the year.
Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli is promoting oil exploration because of Panama’s need to have its own indigenous energy resources in order to reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports, where recent high costs have caused local fuel prices to soar.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com