PPM would pursue oil exploration, foreign investment: Abdulla Yameen

The potential for developing a domestic oil industry was launched as a campaign issue during a speech on Monday (January 14) by Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) presidential prospect, MP Abdulla Yameen.

Yameen proclaimed “when the PPM comes to power” it will conduct oil exploration, attract foreign investment and create 26,000 tourism jobs.

However, the Maldives’ environmental image and commitments are no obstacles to oil industry development, according to Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb – currently standing for nomination as the PPM’s vice president.

Adheeb told Minivan News the Maldives was “a big nation, and places not in marine protected zones or tourism areas could be explored for oil, like in the less developed north.”

“Oil exploration is a term and [we] cannot conclude something with out the details. Regulations and more planning need to be done,” he said.

The ‘Draft Maldives Fourth Tourism Master Plan’ released January 9 by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture emphasises the need for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and renewable energy as part of its five-year strategic plan.

“The tourism sector is expected to contribute to the carbon neutral goal by introducing measures over the next eight years for energy efficiency and replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy,” the report states.

The plan contains various strategic actions aimed at “developing and enforcing” management plans for [marine protected areas] and sensitive environments. This includes “implementing a low carbon program for the tourism industry”.

“A long-term focus on adopting reliable and affordable energy from renewable resources (like sun, wind, sea and biomass) provides an opportunity to enhance our tourism development model, already well known for its sustainable practices. A low carbon path for development has been identified as key development strategy in Maldives as a whole,” the report notes.

“[Economic] diversification is in line with the tourism master plan,” Adheeb told Minivan News.

“[The] first priority should be tourism [however] the economy needs to be diversified and protected,” he said.

Yameen pledges oil exploration

During the launch of the PPM ‘Team Yageen’ campaign, Yameen declared his platform would focus on foreign investment and the creation of job opportunities, local media reported.

“Given the current economic situation, local businessmen alone cannot create enough job opportunities. We must welcome foreign investors for the benefit of our nation,” Yameen said, according to Haveeru.

Yameen’s proposals include searching for oil, prioritising the tourism industry, and creating a cargo transit port.

Previous oil exploration attempts in 1980 found the cost of retrieving the oil was too high compared to the US$20 (MVR 308) price per barrel at the time. However the present price of US$125 (MVR 1925) per barrel made further exploration feasible.

“It is very possible oil might be found in the Maldives,” Yameen said.

“[The PPM] have a very close relationship with tourist resort owners. The [economic] benefits of the tourism industry are creating job opportunities through the [tourism goods and services] tax,” he added.

Team Umar’s stance

‘Team Yageen’s opposition for the PPM leadership, ‘Team Umar’, played down the proposal.

PPM Interim Vice President Umar Naseer said it was not acceptable for people in responsible portfolios of the government to talk about things that they could not do while they were in power.

Yameen’s proposal to search for oil in the Maldives was not new, Naseer claimed, noting that Yameen had plenty of time during the Gayoom administration to pursue such an agenda.

”Fifteen years is enough time for someone searching for oil to find it. ‘Team Umar’ will not make empty talk; if we are to search for oil, then we will find it and sell it,” said Naseer.

”These words are not new to us. If they had been new words they would have impressed ‘Team Umar’ as well,” he added.

Government biosphere and renewable energy commitments

The development of an oil industry in the Maldives would be an apparent reversal of President Mohamed Waheed’s declaration during the Rio 20+ UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 that the Maldives would “become the first country to be a marine reserve”.

During the conference, Waheed highlighted the 2012 establishment of the first UNESCO Biosphere reserve in Baa Atoll, as well as the Maldives’ commitment to carbon neutrality and sustainable development.

“Our tourism sector is a sustainable one, relying on the preservation of our magnificent coral reefs, beautiful beaches and our rich and diverse marine life,” Waheed stated.

The Maldives is meanwhile participating in the 3rd General Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which started this week (13 January 2013).

Minister of Environment and Energy Dr Mariyam Shakeela has also highlighted the ongoing renewable energy activities undertaken by the Maldivian government and the necessity of renewable energy for mitigating climate change.

Shakeela recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Diesel Replacement Project of the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Clean Energy Initiative, a program of the William J Clinton Foundation.

The focus of this program is to enact “projects and policies that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions” including renewable energy projects to reduce dependency on diesel fuel.


18 thoughts on “PPM would pursue oil exploration, foreign investment: Abdulla Yameen”

  1. Funny how rapidly people pull pull out the names environmental treaties whenever there is talk of any sound economic activity, let alone oil exploration. Seems like the environmentalist are fearful of economic prosperity itself. I bet they would shit in pants if the country becomes rich.

    In truth, these enviormental lovers and academics Maldives are into big business of making EIA reports and selling illegal permits to dredge reefs and sand banks. Male is the most polluted and treeless place in the tropics.

    There is probably no oil in Maldives. But its hilarious how the environmental left wingers react to anything related to environment while failing to make SIMPLE regulation to stop dumping in places like Thilafushi. Hypocrites they are.

  2. Doesn't he have enough of our oil all for himself already??? Not to mention the foreign currency, drugs and immigrants. Greedy, currupt, destroying our beautiful image. What do you expect from the head of the mafia!!

  3. Oh, so after driving away GMR now they are claiming the importance of foreign investments. What hypocrisy!

    Also, my god, I hope Umar Naseer's political career is over soon. I can't believe that such a fool is involved in shaping our country's future.

  4. “It is very possible oil might be found in the Maldives,” Yameen said.

    Genius! We should all bow to the words of the greatest "economist" in the Maldives. In other news, it's all very possible that there is plenty of coconut-oil in the Maldives. If anyone finds signs of it, please get in touch with PPM.

    For the record, it was during the 1990s (and not the '80s as reported in the article), that Royal Dutch Shell explored for oil in the Maldives. Yameen should know about all that, since he would have been running the Trade Ministry.

    You can still read a Reuter's article on related news just before the election in 2008: http://in.reuters.com/article/2008/09/04/maldives-oil-idINCOL25394420080904.

    "Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) was the last to explore the Maldives, but found no trace of hydrocarbons after surveys and drilling an exploratory well to 900 metres (3,000 feet)."

    Yameen giveth us oil!

  5. This is just part of the Chinese interest and our sell out to them. Vomit Time

  6. Yameen will take all of us to the moon and build a Maldivian colony. I have known this Yameen character for a long time. He is very sharp and smart. He is very knowledgeable as well. He is also sometimes very arrogant, stubborn and very stupid.

  7. Yaameens Loony Tales, he should try and find diamonds in the sky, if we find diamonds in the sky then Maldives will be a rich country and a diamond exporting country, thus creating jobs and MAG’s family will prosper once again.
    If there is any material oil found here or tiniest clue that there is oil, after the initial studies conducted during the 1980’s, then oil companies would have flocked here to invest after the hike in price reached 100 dollars per barrel.
    I guess the 800 million dollar oil corruption case is not enough for this guy.

  8. Way back in the 70s, ELF company after doing several hydrographic surveys, drilled off Baros Island.

    They struck natural gases and trace elements of oil being there.

    With these findings, ELF wanted to sign an agreement with the state.

    Unfortunately, they were given the option to sign and agreement with a private entity to which they disagreed!

    This is the first saga of oil exploration in this country!

    Also it is of doubt that Shell though they declared there was no oil, did find signs of oil being there, and wanted to sign an agreement with the state.

    It ls very likely the state then were ready to sign the agreement, but the royalty and side cuts were too many and too crooked for Shell and did not want a part of such a deal!

  9. http://books.google.mv/books?id=GFXkR7i7t8YC&pg=PT119&lpg=PT119&dq=ELF+company+surveyed+maldives+for+oil&source=bl&ots=Rg6ms2ZEpQ&sig=qiW67zenlooaNuWNjgGgx83Eua4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wHP2UN3iArGhiAeS3IHYDQ&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBA

    as per this publication there was no oil or traces of oil in 1970 or 1990 explorations.

    if there is any geologist in maldives let them handle the matter not Yaameen or any other politician

    If oil is ever discovered that will be the biggest curse to maldivian people, since these tinpot dictatoship of Gayoom family will loot it all.

  10. Looking at the potential and announced Presidential Candidates, we all know we have a pretty bad list of choices out there.

    From a list of "bad" candidates, Yameen may be the best of the lot. He may be corrupt, but he is well qualified, intelligent and efficient. The country will not go to the dogs under his rule.

    As a strong critic of Yameen's past corruption, I have decided to support his candidacy in the hope of saving this nation from becoming a failed State.

  11. @Barbarian on Wed, 16th Jan 2013 2:51 PM

    "If oil is ever discovered that will be the biggest curse to maldivian people, since these tinpot dictatoship of Gayoom family will loot it all."

    Indeed! In fact, during the 90s when Shell was here, I think Yameen was running the Trade Ministry. Shell packed up and left after spending millions of dollars. Yameen emerged filthy rich. Coincidence?

    A trans-shipment terminal in the Maldives is as likely as Gayoom becoming the Pope. China is building such a complex in Sri Lanka right now, and you cannot have two such terminals within such close proximity, as that will make zero economic sense. But, then again, Yameen is the greatest "economist" that the Maldives has ever known.

    It's not entirely surprising that Yameen is coming up with the same tired old stories of mega projects, reminiscent of the Gayoom dictatorship. The only parties to benefit from these pie-in-the-sky projects will be him and his allies. Dare we mention Air Maldives, FPID etc. Same family, same crooked themes...

  12. Why didn't these projects happen when Yameen was in cabinet will full powers and investors were eager about Maldives.

    Its not going to happen..

  13. The last thing Mould-ivians need are oily promises.

    Unfortunately Mouldivians can be moulded to any shape.

  14. if we find oil here, that means more money which will lead to more chaos in the political system, First lets live in peace,

  15. all humbug! Campaign and publicity stunts. only for goyoms to bite the bait. Hahaha

  16. Psychotic, scheming, ruthless, greedy - and now delusional? In other words positively certifiable and certainly not fit to run this wonderful ancient island state. Only a moron would go with this or a crony -and there's a few of those about it seems. Keep dreaming, you Voldermort and your Dementors. For your fantasies are no less real in your black hearted loonyland. Watch out for the white coats, I'd say.


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