- Oil and gas exploration company Bahamas Petroleum delayed its plan to drill its first exploration well in The Bahamas following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Drilling operations for the well were rescheduled to October 2020 onwards. The company on 13 March said it anticipated to spud the well in late May or early June 2020, compared with a prior estimate of April.

'Given the ever-evolving adverse impact of the response to the spread of the Covid-19 virus - which is changing daily and is affecting everyone and all enterprises, around the globe - it has become clear to us that if we continue to push forward with drilling in the first half of 2020, safe and responsible operations would be compromised,' the company said.

The company had previously provided estimated the cost of drilling operations for the well in the range of $25m to $30m, and made potential contingencies for an extra $5m of cost depending on the timing of drilling.

The company said, however, it did not presently anticipate this cost estimate would change as a result of the rescheduled commencement of operations.

'We have accordingly notified the Government of The Bahamas that a force majeure event has occurred, which is expected to result in an extension to the current term of our licences, and we are rescheduling our drilling plans accordingly, to after October 2020,' it added.

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