Information on this was shared by the Minister of Energy and Mines of the Caribbean nation, Antonio Isa Conde, with a select audience gathered at the Regional Energy and Development Conference, being held from January 18-20 in this English-speaking country, major natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas supplier to the Dominican Republic.
Isa Conde revealed undisclosed information that the country will shortly make available to interested investors more than 12,590 linear kilometres (7,885 miles) of 2D seismic lines, in a virgin territory with no concessions granted for the prospecting and production of hydrocarbons.
He also said the country will soon have a National Hydrocarbon Database which is being set up by the renowned international firm of Schlumberger-Surenco, whose services were engaged by the Dominican government. This company is a regional subsidiary of Schlumberger which is, in turn, the major oil services provider worldwide.
The official stated that the institution has been able –since May last year– to organize, systemize and enter data for a series of high-value information for potential investors which will serve to create hydrocarbon exploration blocks to be tendered in the upcoming months under specific contracts.
Likewise, he revealed that the state entity he heads has made entries for approximately 1,491 maps and drawings, 805 seismic profiles, 212 well logs, 321 files or reports, 209 magnetic tapes and has recovered a series of geophysical information dating back to 50 years which were scattered throughout the Dominican Republic and, therefore, rendered difficult to access by interested stakeholders.
“The information available that has been formatted to the latest software on the subject can be used as input to create models on the components of our sedimentary basins. Only with the information recovered from the maps, filed in very poor conditions, we have stored in “SEG Y” (the standard industry format) some 4,576 kilometres (2,843 miles) of 2D seismic lines”, Isa Conde highlighted.
The Minister of Energy and Mines of the Dominican Republic also reported the recovery of a series of reports from worldwide renowned think tanks such as the University of Texas at Austin and UniversidadComplutense de Madrid. “These reports”, he pointed out, “have allowed adding 8,126 additional kilometres (5,049 miles) of 2D seismic lines, for a total of 12,690 kilometres (7,885 miles) of available seismic lines.
Likewise, he indicated that the Ministry is drafting a conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbon exploration and production regulation and, with the support of OLADE and Canadian cooperation funds, it is elaborating industrial and environmental safety standards to govern the possible hydrocarbon production activities in the country.
He further stated that the institution prepares model contracts and terms of reference for a bidding process to be called in the first quarter of this year to award exploration blocks.
“We would be very pleased to have you accompany us in developing the nascent energy industry of the Dominican Republic, taking advantage of the opportunities offered and the adequate business climate we promote for investment”, Isa Conde expressed.
The conference was attended by such dignitaries as Nicole Olivierre, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago; Vernon Paltoo, President National Energy Corporation and Norman Christie, Regional President of British Petroleum (BP), as well as Eugene Tiah, President Massy Energy. Also, Dax Driver, CEO of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad; Frank Look Kin, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Energy of Trinidad & Tobago.
Investment Climate in the DR
Isa Conde further discussed the current economic conditions of the Dominican Republic and the adequate investment climate that he sustains prevail in the country hand-in-hand with a democratic government which conducts itself with a vision of development.
He communicated that in the course of the past year of 2015, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country grew 7.0%, leading for the second consecutive year the relative growth performance of the remaining economies of Latin American, with a low level of inflation closing scarcely at 2.34%, and a very moderate devaluation of the Dominican peso of only 2.6%, contrasting with the strong depreciations experienced by the principal Latin American currencies vis-à-vis the US Dollar.
“The country, strategically situated in geographical terms, has an important road infrastructure development that facilitates making fast connections from any point as well as world-class port and airport structures for foreign trade, which -adding imports and exports of goods- together exceed US$26,500 million in 2015”, pronounced Isa Conde.
He commented that an essential part of the country’s intangible capital is the congeniality of its people, beautiful beaches and a myriad of agreeable micro climates in both mountains and plains. “Not surprisingly, the Dominican Republic is today the Caribbean country that has received the most Direct Foreign Investment, again surpassing US$2,000 million in 2015, that is, 3.8% more than the previous year,” he claimed.