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Call for Lloyd’s to end support for oil drilling near Bahamas

Pristine waters: campaigners have called on Lloyd’s of London to end support for offshore oil drilling projects in the waters of the Bahamas (Photograph by Pixabay)

More than 30 groups and individuals campaigning for action on climate change have written to Lloyd’s of London demanding that it end support for the Bahamas Petroleum Company to conduct an offshore oil drilling scheme in the waters of the Bahamas.

The open letter, which was coordinated by global campaign group SumOfUs and signed by dozens of organisations including Waterkeeper Alliance, 350.org, and Rainforest Action Network, said the plan to open up a new oilfield with potential for over a billion barrels of oil was “entirely inconsistent” with Lloyd’s pledge to help limit the climate crisis.

Lloyd’s confirmed that it was insuring the project, in January, according to the campaigners.

The Bahamas Petroleum Company last month reported it had plugged and abandoned its Perseverance #1 well in the Bahamas, and is now focusing its 2021 programme in Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.

The company has commenced a post-well review of data gathered from the drilling operation, and said there are indications of “significant hydrocarbon potential” in other untested areas within the areas where it has exploration licences.

In the open letter, campaigners asked Lloyd’s to rule out renewing insurance for the scheme, as well as for other “destructive fossil fuel projects”, including the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada, and the Adani Carmichael coalmine in Australia.

Flora Rebello Arduini, senior campaigner at SumOfUs, said: “Lloyd’s says it wants to do its bit to fight climate change, but a reckless hunt for oil in pristine waters is the very opposite of that. We need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, not go looking for more – and history will judge harshly those who stand in the way.”

The letter was sent to Lloyd’s executives on World Water Day, as part of an effort to pressure the insurer to ban underwriting of new oil and gas projects from its marketplace.

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Published March 24, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 23, 2021 at 6:47 pm)

Call for Lloyd’s to end support for oil drilling near Bahamas

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