- Bahamas Petroleum Co has noted that the Petroleum Bill and as well as a Sovereign Wealth Bill were today put before the Bahamian House of Assembly for their Second Reading.

As previously announced in December 2014 and May 2015, the Petroleum Bill and associated Regulations are set to guide and govern the next phase of safe and responsible hydrocarbon exploration in The Bahamas, while the Sovereign Wealth Bill will provide the legislative framework to ensure that the accrued wealth from any exploration success would be optimally invested, managed and conserved for the benefit of this and future generations of Bahamians.

The regulations associated with the Petroleum Bill comprise requirements and standards for operations, health and safety and environmental management that seek to provide an upgraded and modernised structure where international best practises can be applied. The Bills were initially tabled for a First Reading in December 2014, and in May 2015 the Bills was updated to include various amendments arising from the First Reading, as tabled by the Minister of Environment and Housing. Following the Second Readings and associated debate, there will be a Third Reading where Members of the House will vote on the Bills before passage to the Senate for their consent. Following consent from the Senate, the Bills will be sent to the Governor General for assent, after which they will become law and be referred to as the Petroleum Act and the Sovereign Wealth Act.

The Company considers that this legislative package, once promulgated, will reinforce responsible and safe hydrocarbon exploration as an integral part of the National Energy Policy of The Bahamas, whilst providing the assurance required to attract the considerable investment necessary to develop the potentially huge and therefore significant economic resources present in Bahamian waters.

Chief executive Simon Potter said: "We are pleased to report the presentation of the Petroleum Bill and attendant Regulations to the House of Assembly for a Second Reading and debate. Today's reading further reinforces the Government's commitment to petroleum exploration, where a successful outcome could be an economic game-changer for The Bahamas given the scale of the prospects. We look forward to updating our shareholders further in due course."

At 4:25pm: [LON:BPC] Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC share price was -0.11p at 1.1p

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