Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2015 Contents While T&T
duction, with gas production, the struggle
has been to maintain the plateau of produc-
tion after the spectacular increases of the
This struggle continued in 2014.
The issue of gas supply has been a major
topic of conversation at the past four energy
conferences and will surely be a major dis-
cussion point again at the 2015 conference,
taking place on January 26---28, 2015 at the
Hyatt Regency hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Overall, gas production between January
and October 2014 averaged 4,088 mmscf/d,
down slightly on the 2013 average of 4,145
mmscf/d. This figure, however, represented
an overall decline of about 6.0 per cent com-
pared to 2010, before the current period of
frequent gas curtailments commenced. What
has also been a major concern for the down-
stream gas customers has been the variability
in supply on a day to day basis and the need
to cut back production at short notice.
The impact of gas curtailments on the
downstream petrochemical producers and
on Atlantic has been well documented in
JANUARY 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG15
the T&T and international industry media. The impact
has included not just the lost production but also
increased maintenance costs due to the frequent start-
ups and shut-downs of production.
The Minister of Energy and most industry observers
expect that the current shortfalls in production are
not going to be solved in 2015 and will most likely
continue until the Juniper development comes on-
The key objective for the gas industry is to maintain
the current high levels of investment into upstream
gas production each and every year so that similar
problems do not occur in the future. The current low
price environment makes this objective all the harder
to achieve and T&T therefore needs to be highly
focused on being as competitive as possible, in order
to be able to continue to attract direct foreign invest-
ment into gas exploration and production.
Given the gas supply problems, the expansion of
the T&T downstream industry and the move into
more diversified secondary and tertiary petrochemicals
has been moving very slowly over the past few years.
The major project on the drawing boards has been
the methanol to DME project being undertaken by
a consortium of Mitsubishi, Massy and NGC.
While work on this project has progressed in 2014,
including environmental clearance, there has yet to
be an announcement of the final investment decision.
The other new midstream project that has been
announced is the Gasfin mid-sized LNG export facility
to target the Caribbean market. While there was a
lot of discussion in 2014 about gas as the fuel of
choice in the Caribbean, including a major Inter-
American Development Bank funded study, there is
yet to be a final announcement on the Caribbean
Venezuela and cross-border gas
There also seemed to be little progress on discussion
on cross-border gas with Venezuela during 2014, or
at least progress that could be shared with the general
public. The assumption is that after the agreements
reached in 2013, the individual companies involved
in the detailed discussions (namely PDVSA, BG and
Chevron) will have been quietly negotiating on the
specifics of field development plans, but no news has
been forthcoming on progress.
The falling oil price has certainly changed the eco-
nomic and political dynamics in Venezuela. It is yet
to be seen how this might influence the cross border
Gas master plan
The gas supply problems that continued through
2014 helped focus attention on the need for a new
Gas Master Plan.
The United Kingdom-based Poten and Partners
was announced as the firm that would undertake the
study and it is anticipated that this plan would be
ready by mid-2015. The Gas Master Plan is expected
to outline a strategy for the next 10 years for the
natural gas sector.
The plan will consider critical policy areas including
allocation of acreage; development of concepts of
deep-water gas, contractual arrangements as well as
other key areas. The development of such a plan
comes at a crucial time when there is the need for
long-term planning and strategising for the continued
development of the natural gas sector.
The Energy Chamber has been closely involved in
the conversations around the gas master plan process
and we will continue to support the process over the
next few months.
We anticipate that the discussions at the Energy
Conference will provide good and relevant input into
the gas mast planning process.
Needed: A new gas master plan
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