Dr Paul Crevello is no stranger to the oil-rich potential of the waters surrounding the golden beaches of The Bahamas. Time spent studying the regional geology in his graduate days was the prelude to 40 years as an exploration expert, working initially at Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and then his own consultancy in more that 40 countries, before he returned to home territory in 2006. On the same day that Hardman Resources was acquired by industry giant Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) in September that year, Hardman’s founder Alan Burns met up with Crevello and explained his Bahamian plan. For Crevello, it was a simple decision: “I think it took about 15 minutes to explain the project; from what I knew, my background, I thought it was a good area all along,” he says.

Given its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba’s offshore oilfields, The Bahamas has naturally been a target for oil companies in the past. However, a near total absence of geological and past drilling data combined with tumbling oil prices all but killed off exploration efforts by the mid-1980s. It took Burns and Crevello months of work to track down the information they needed to apply for their licences ahead of bringing their company Bahamas Petroleum Company (LON:BPC) to the Alternative Investment Market in September 2008.

Since then, Bahamas Petroleum has been stunned by the potential of what it has seen from early 2D seismic surveys over its 100% held licences to the south of the islands. The data shows multiple structures with 4-way closure ranging in length from 10 to 75 km. Further west, the company has been joined by Norwegian giant StatoilHydro (NYSE:STO), where test work is also ongoing and further license applications are in the pipeline. With a more detailed 3D seismic survey about to get under way and a £45.6m fundraising recently secured, Crevello is now eyeing the possibility of drilling the company’s first well in 2012.

Paul, oil exploration in The Bahamas has a relatively brief history that more or less came to a halt in the mid-1980s. What is your reading of the activity that has gone on there previously?

Well five wells were drilled. The initial one in 1947 by Superior Oil was right after World War II and it was a…

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