The company said the decision came as a result of the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“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,” Simon Potter, Bahamas' chief executive said in a statement.
“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,” Potter added.
He described the delay as disappointing but said that shareholders should be encouraged that the company will be in a strong position to resume drilling activities towards the end of the year.
He noted that the company has cash reserves, flexible and supportive financial backers, a robust well plan that’s approved by contractors and insurers, and, the rig market is changing rapidly so that there will be a surfeit of capable rigs.
“Moreover, the company's prospect has not changed: the same rocks will still be there at such time as safe and responsible operations can resume, and shareholders can rest assured that the entire team at the company will continue working towards drilling with the same commitment, passion and belief that has got us to this stage,” Potter added.
He concluded: "The spread of the Covid-19 virus represents a global threat to our collective way of life, and we all have to face reality over the coming months - which in the case of our company means pausing our drilling plans for a time, as hard as that may be. We hope that all of our shareholders, stakeholders, employees and contractors take care, and stay safe and well in this extremely difficult time for all.”