The search for oil on Panama's coast

On Wednesday April 6th 2017, the Cabinet Council of Panama approved three contracts with multinational companies to carry out seismic surveys to determine whether or not there are oil and gas deposits on the Panamanian coast.

The information was confirmed in Panamanian news paper, La Prensa by the National Energy Secretariat . The contracts are with the companies Gx Techology Corporation (United States), Spectrum Geo, Inc. (Norway) and Geoex (England and United States).

Victor Urrutia , National Secretary of Energy, offered some more information on the seismic surveys.

"Conducting seismic studies in 2D does not oblige the country in the future to explore and exploit the oil and natural gas reserves that may be found" he said. “This is a first stage, it will offer more information to the country.”

He added “Important findings in the deep waters of the Colombian Caribbean, specifically in the border area with Panama, confirm the oil potential. A country must have full knowledge of the resources it has, in order to evaluate the benefits and risks of future exploration.”

The companies with contracts to explore the possibility of oil deposits will carry out geophysical studies 15 kilometers offshore off the Panamanian coast, not on the mainland, according to a document provided by the National Energy Secretariat.

Before being able to carry out these explorations using ships, the companies will have to carry out category II environmental impact studies.