Trelawny-oil-find_CGG Jamaica discovery images_David Gold
Photo credit – David Gold

CGG GeoConsulting and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) have announced an oil find in Trelawny parish. The oil was not found through deep digging, but the “black gold” actually seeped to the surface.

The historic oil seeps are believed to be the first geological discovery of live oil flowing onshore Jamaica.

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, PCJ Chairman Russell Hadeed says it’s not yet known whether the oil seeps are significant.

Falmouth News is not sure where exactly in Trelawny this find has occurred.

From the CGG GeoConsulting website:

The oil seeps were found during fieldwork for a recently completed multi-client Robertson Study (Red Book) of the petroleum potential of on- and offshore Jamaica entitled ‘Petroleum Geological Evaluation of Jamaica’ made jointly by CGG GeoConsulting and PCJ. Subsequent detailed geochemical analyses confirmed the oil seeps originate from two separate Cretaceous source rocks.

From The Jamaica Observer:

Speaking at a function on the premises of the country’s sole oil refinery, Petrojam, on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, Dr Andrew Wheatley, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, said the find could increase economic activity and help to solve Jamaica’s growth problems.

However, he told the Jamaica Observer that he would not say much more as he felt the need to be cautious in his interpretation of the development.

“I think I will have to wait for further information before speaking on the outcome of the find,” he said after the function held to rename the Petrojam building in honour of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who was instrumental in the Government’s purchase of the Petrojam refinery from Esso in 1982.

The minister had told guests at the function that the fact was that the consultants, may have struck inland oil or gas seeps from different parts of the island.

Wheatley confirmed that the seeps were found in the rural parts of Trelawny, but said the fact that they were found on the north coast of Jamaica would not raise any threats to the tourism product, as they were both inland seeps.

Trelawny-oil-find_CGG Jamaica discovery images_David Gold-2
Phot credit: David Gold.

From the CGG Geoconsulting Website:

Jamaica and its offshore basins remain relatively underexplored. Oil or gas shows have been seen in ten of the eleven exploration wells drilled to date. The discovery of these seeps indicates the presence of working petroleum systems on the island that are generating and expelling liquid hydrocarbons to the surface.

Sophie Zurquiyah, Senior Executive Vice President, Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir, CGG, said: “This exciting discovery of live oil onshore Jamaica, based on our joint study with PCJ, builds a strong case for the island as an attractive region for future oil exploration within the Caribbean.

So the parish of Trelawny appears to possibly be where the economic future of Jamaica lies. The government is leaning heavily on the parish’s tourism potential, especially as a cruise destination. The port brings in the majority of sea cruise passengers to the island.

Now with this oil find, there is potential for oil to be found in commercial quantities.

The north coast parish had long been under developed and ignored, but are we now poised to be the proverbial “stone that the builder refused being the head of the corner?”

Jamaica Observer
CGG Geoconsulting

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