Oil observed flowing to the surface naturally from a site onshore in Jamaica. Photo courtesy of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and CGG GeoConsulting
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Oil was found flowing naturally for the first time ever onshore in Jamaica at two locations in what could be a door opener in the Caribbean, companies said.
Two companies, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and CGG GeoConsulting, said oil was found flowing at two sites during petroleum field work.
"This significant find marks the first documented occurrence of 'live', or flowing, oil from onshore Jamaica and will be of particular interest to oil explorationists focused on Central America and the Caribbean," they said in a joint statement.
Jamaica is considered frontier territory for oil and gas explorers. Tullow Oil, a British company that focuses in part on pioneer opportunities, has a license there from 2014 in shallow waters on the south of the island nation.
According to Tullow, oil and natural gas were seen in 10 of the eleven onshore and offshore wells drilled in Jamaica to date. The company said it was still reviewing seismic data that's used to get a better understanding of the reserve potential.
In November, the company sold off a 20 percent stake in its full-operating interest in a license area in Jamaica, but secured a license extension so new seismic surveys could begin in April.
"The discovery of these seeps indicates the presence of working petroleum systems on the island that are generating and expelling liquid hydrocarbons to the surface," CGG GeoConsulting and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica announced.
To the north in Cuba, authorities there issued the consent necessary for Australia's Melbana Energy to move forward with plans for oil drilling onshore. The company's Alameda-1 prospect near the northern coast of Cuba is targeting a reservoir with more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place.