by Linda Straker
- China-Russia partnership for exploration in Grenada’s marine space
- Grenada and China signed ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative MOU
Energy Minister Gregory Bowen has disclosed that a Chinese company has teamed up with the Russian company that conducted the initial exploration of oil and gas, to provide them with financing for further exploration in Grenada’s marine space.
Bowen said that the Russian owned Global Petroleum Group (GPG) had run into a financial problem after the first drilling and could not continue the exploration for more wells, but in recent times, a partnership was agreed 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 reported during the open session of the New National Party (NNP) annual convention held on Sunday at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS).
He did not provide the name of the Chinese company that has partnered with GPG. According to public records, GPG registered in Grenada in 2003 and was listed as having 100,000,000 ordinary shares, but no amount in value given for the shares. As of December 2017, the Belizean company Multiple Investment Ltd was listed as having holding shares.
Informing supporters that there is a need for them to exercise patience pertaining to the benefits of oil and gas as Grenada ventures into a new avenue of economic prosperity, Bowen said, “Let us wait for the next year when we can drill the wells before we can say we are out of the doldrums economically.”
In March 2018, Prime Minister Dr Mitchell announced that exploration of Grenada’s marine space by GPG and testing conducted by the relevant authorities in the international oil and gas sector had confirmed the presence of commercial quality gas and oil.
By April, the Trinidad and Tobago National Gas Company 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 (MOU) 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 6 months, 5 Caribbean countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana and Suriname have signed MOUs with China on the Belt and Road Initiative.