The entry of STENA ICEMAX, a hulking 750-foot drilling vessel, into Bahamian this week signaled that a months-long battle over the blue waters of the Caribbean nation had come to a head. The ship, deployed by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), is set to begin exploratory offshore oil drilling in Bahamian waters, 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the coast of Florida, this month. Environmental groups approached the Bahamian Supreme Court on Dec. 10, saying the government’s granting of permits was “procedurally unfair, unlawful, an abuse of power.” They are seeking an immediate stay on BPC’s drilling operations. A map showing the location of the Perseverance #1 well (located inside the area marked in red). Map courtesy of Bahamas Petroleum Company. The group Our Island Our Future (OIOF) launched a campaign earlier this year after BPC made public its intention to start drilling. The coalition is made up of 41 Bahamian NGOs and businesses and more than 55 U.S.-based NGOs. “BPC will vigorously oppose the application, and we understand that the Government of The Bahamas will be doing likewise,” Simon Potter, BPC’s chief executive officer, said in a statement shared with Mongabay. “BPC’s drilling plans have been public knowledge for almost a decade, and the Government provided Environmental Authorisation to BPC in February 2020, following an extensive program of work.” Small-scale sporadic oil drilling has taken place in the Bahamas over the decades, but the scale of BPC’s planned operation is many times larger. Headquartered in the Isle of Man, a tax…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer