1872 Petroleum in the island of Santo Domingo

1947  1955 and 1956  1964 1975 Gonave Island

Haiti could have larger oil reserves than Venezuela 1/28/2010


Haiti could have larger oil reserves than Venezuela 1/28/10
Amidst the utter devastation left in the wake of the earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12th, new findings indicate the existence of 3 million barrels of oil in a shallow formation offshore the island. 
The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the US Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report. 
Among nations in the northern Caribbean, Cuba and Jamaica have awarded offshore leases for oil and gas development. Trinidad & Tobago, South American islands off the coast of Venezuela, account for most Caribbean oil production, according to the US Energy Department.  
According to French scientist Daniel Mathurin, “The Central Plateau, including the region of Thomond, the plain of the cul-de-sac and the bay of Port-au-Prince are filled with oil”. He added that “Haiti's oil reserves are larger than those of Venezuela . An Olympic pool compared to a glass of water that is the comparison to show the importance of oil Haitian compared to those of Venezuela.” 
Mathurin also stated that “We have identified 20 sites Oil…5 of them are considered very important by practitioners and policies.”  
President Hugo Chavez recently announced that he would write off the undisclosed sum Haiti owes Venezuela for oil as part of the ALBA bloc’s plans to help the impoverished Caribbean nation after the devastating January 12 earthquake. 
“Haiti has no debt with Venezuela, just the opposite: Venezuela has a historical debt with that nation, with that people for whom we feel not pity but rather admiration, and we share their faith, their hope,” Chavez said after the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA. 
He also announced that ALBA has decided on a comprehensive plan that includes an immediate donation of $20 million to Haiti’s health sector, and a fund that, Chavez said, will be at least $100 million ‘for starters.’  


Petroleum-1872 in the island of Santo Domingo

1. On the occurrence of Petroleum in the island of Santo Domingo; by W. M.  GABB (Editorial correspondence, dated Santo Domingo, April 20, 1872.
-We must add to the known localities of bituminous products in tile West Indies a single locality; the Dominican Republic.  This is a spot about three miles north of the town of Azua, on a stream called "el Agua hediondo," or stinking water. 

The spot reminded me strikingly of the California petroleum springs, not less in the existence of oil, pitch, and gas, than in the usual broken-down steam engine and fragments of artesian well tools lying scattered around. 

The spring makes its appearance as a stagnant, torpid pool, exuding slowly through a heavy gravel deposit.  Deposits of pitch cover a very small area in the vicinity; for half a mile down the now dry bed of a rainwater stream, an impure pitch, sometimes plastic, oftener hardened to asphaltum, as the case may be, cements the gravel or sand.

The pools of the spring and neighboring excavations contain a dirty water rendered brown by contact with the oil, and on the surface is a thin pellicle of liquid petroleum, dark brownish-green to reflected light, and reddish brown by transmitted light. 

On rubbing a drop in the palm of the it does not disappear as readily as the oil of California and the odor is not so much like kerosene, but rather fetid.

-An attempt was made during the " oil excitement" of 1865 or 1866 to bore here.  The usual tools taken to the spot and eventually abandoned.  In the piece of pipe yet remains a small accumulation of oil, through which bubbles up a gas.  It is inodorous and is not inflammable.  At the distance of a few yards is a depression where there are several gas jets, and where, over the whole area, there is not a single blade of grass or any other vegetation.

I consider this locality especially interesting because it is the only spot in the whole Republic of Santo Domingo where bituminous products are found, and because of its resemblance in so many respects to the localities I have seen in California.  It also agrees with the springs of Trinidad in its appearance and mode of occurrence.  See the report of the Colonial Geologists, London, 1860, pp, 134 et. seq.  See also Schomburgh, Hist. Of Barbados, pp. 553 and 569.
 1586    E. W. Clarke

By A. A. Meyerhoff

Several companies expressed interest in Haiti during 1957, but unstable political conditions in this republic discouraged extensive exploration activities.  Texaco completed 6 party-months of surface geology in the first 3 months of the present year, but aside from this, no other action was reported.
The latest drilling in Haiti was done in 1955 and 1956 by a combine of M. E. Andrews
Ltds., Commonwealth Oil Corporations and J. Mecom.  Three dry holes, drilled on the Isle de la Gonave resulted in the abandonment of the exploration program in 1956.  No further work is programmed in the area by this combine.  The following table is the first published summary of the wells.


Butterlin, Jacques, 1956, "Une microfaune nouvelle du Cretace superieur de la Republique d'Hait " Bull.  Soc. Geol, France, C. R.
Rich, J. L.,  1956, "Geomorphic Evidence Bearing an the Tectonics of the Cul-de-sac-Hoya de Enriquillo 'Graben' of Haiti and the Dominican Republic," Bull.  Geol, Soc.  America, Vol. 67: No. 12, Pt. 2, pp. 1756--57 (abst.).

By A. A. Meyerhoff

The Pan Jamaican Oil Company, (formerly Jamaican Stanolind Oil Company) was the only company, active on the island during 1957.  During the year, an airborne mag­netometer survey was run over the entire island- In addition, Pan Jamaican completed 18 party-months of surface geology, 10 party- months of land reflection seismograph worth, 12 crew months of air photo studies, and 6 months of core drilling.
Three exploratory tests were drilled; the first was started in 1950, but the second two were spudded and abandoned during 1957.  The results of all three wells were discouraging so that upon the abandonment of the dry test in August 1957, Pan Jamaican terminated exploration efforts on the islet.  Their license areas reverted to Base Metals Mining Corporation from whom they had obtained in 1955.  Base has indicated that they shall retain the licenses, and continue exploration.

Important Dry Exploration in Haiti in 1955 and 1956

M. E. Andrews - Commonwealth - Mecom Gonave-1 NW part of Isle de la Gonave NFW Surface Geol. Aug 1955   1138 Wilcox Eocene  Abandoned. Stuck drill pipe; lost circulation. Mainly dense limestone.

Jan., 1956   8,002  Midway Eocene  D&A Spudded in Oligocene   Mostly limestone, with some Eocene shale, at T.D.

Apr., 1956  6,972  Midway Eocene  D&A  All limestone


The Commonwealth Oil Company drilled the first test on its 50-year concession following a period of geological and geophysical exploration.  This test was taken to 3,158 feet before abandoning.  A second well was spudded, which at the end of the year was drilling below 6,ooo feet.  Both of these tests were located on Gonave Island, off the west coast of Haiti, and encountered considerable thick­ness of Tertiary sediments.


ANON., 1955, "Haiti Test Spudded," Oil and Gas Jour. (July 18), p, Si
Butterlin Jacques 1954, "Geologie de la Republique d'Haiti, et ses Rapports avec Celle des Re­gions Voisines," Institut Framcais d’Haiti Memoirs j. 446 pp.

There was no drilling or any other exploration activity related to petroleum reported from Haiti during 1964. All exploration rights, which have earlier been held in the country, prior to 1963, were released.  Toward the end of 1964, comprehensive rights for petroleum projects, including exploration rights over the entire country, were awarded to Mohammed Fayyad reportedly, a naturalized Haitian.  In addition to exploration and development rights, the grant gave Fayyad a concession to build a refinery and develop petrochemical facilities.
 HAITI 1947
In the Republic of Haiti, here exploration has been carried on for a number of years by the Atlantic Refining Company, a test is being drilled on a structure near other wells near Port au Prince that had been core-drilled were drilled in earlier years.
 HAITI 1975
By Petroconsultants S.A. Geneva, Switzerland

Under terms of an option to earn an interest in the Wendell Phillips permit, Weeks Natural Resources carried out a 2-week seismic survey in February 1975, but later decided not to exercise its option.

In late 1975, the government canceled the 86,350-sq km onshore and offshore permit held by Wendell Phillips and Bonanza International Petroleum, and therefore all rights are held currently in the country.