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Barbados to grant oil exploration licenses

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) – The leader of Barbados says his administration expects to soon award exploration licenses for two offshore blocks that he hopes may eventually provide a petroleum windfall.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says two acts recently passed by the Caribbean island’s House of Assembly paved the way for offshore licenses to be granted to Australia-based BHP Billiton.

In a Tuesday statement, Stuart says his government has received offers from several companies to undertake speculative surveys in the area to evaluate where hydrocarbons might possibly be found.

Stuart’s administration is also investing in solar panels to diversify the island’s energy grid.

Over the past year, exploratory wells drilled off Cuba have come up a bust. Companies have also been seeking oil off Guyana’s coast but have failed to tap offshore deposits.

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