Find Oil and Gas expertise in Barbados

Barbados produces both crude oil and natural gas, and has around 2 million barrels of proven oil reserves (2010). About 240 onshore wells have been drilled and around 100 of them are currently in operation, most of which are located in the vicinity of the Woodbourne Development Area in the south-west of the island. Together, they produce about 1,500 bpd for oil, or a fifth of Barbados’ energy requirements.

The 75% state-owned Barbados National Oil Company is responsible for exploration and production, and also and imports the country’s remaining petroleum requirements. As of 2008, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Energy also awards block licenses for offshore exploration.

Non-state companies in the upstream sector include Shell, Texaco and Esso. Refining does not take place on Barbados – the oil is exported for processing to the Petrotrin refinery plant in Trinidad. Natural gas is mostly used for domestic consumption, and in the downstream sector the National Petroleum Corporation (also a statutory body) operates a natural gas distribution network. Simpson Oil Company, Texaco and Esso operate retail points selling petrol and other related products throughout the country.

The extractives industries of Barbados are overseen by the affiliated departments of the Energy Division at the Ministry. These include the Administrative Unit, The Legal and Regulatory Unit, The Natural Resources Department, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Unit, and the Research and Planning Unit. Between them, the departments are responsible for price regulation, legislation, geological and earth-science services, and oversee the state-owned companies in the sector.

The Petroleum Winning Operations Act 1951 (amended several times) regulates the exploration and exploitation of oil resources. It sets out guidelines and procedures for licensing, quotas and ancillary regulations, and prohibits all unlicensed drilling. Expansion into offshore exploration is outlined in the Offshore Petroleum Act 2007 (amended 2012). Licenses are granted by the ministry.

The National Petroleum Corporation Act set up the company of the same name in 1979, outlining the framework for gas distribution on Barbados as a public utility.

EITI status

Barbados is not EITI compliant.

Oil and Gas organisations in Barbados
Barbados National Oil Company Limited
Chevron Corporation (Texaco)
Esso Standard Oil S.A. Limited
National Petroleum Corporation
Shell Western Supply and Trading
The Sol Group