Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents BG6 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 2015 • WEEK ONE
There is a concern that the continued
gas shutdowns at Point Lisas Indus-
trial Estate could lead to increased
safety risk at some of the plants.
This is according to the president
of the Point Lisas Executives Asso-
ciation (PLEA) Ian Welch.
He said the continued gas curtailment was a
major worry because it was affecting the life cycle
cost of plant and equipment and could become a
In an interview with the Business Guardian,
Welch said, "It s impacting on our stability, our
reliability, our profitability and also the life cycle
cost of our plant and equipment. If that continues,
it could also have an impact on safety so it s some-
thing we need to deal with in an expeditious manner.
We have already missed the boat, in my opinion,
but it can be fixed."
His warning came at a time when the Energy
Minister Kevin Ramnarine described the gas cur-
tailment as the greatest challenge the sector has
faced in the last five years.
Ramnarine, who for years blamed the shortage
on BP s heightened maintenance, is now saying
there is no quick fix to the problem.
He said, "During the period 2008 to 2010, BP s
cushion gas was consumed and today the industry
operates without cushion gas. This means that
when one of the 26 producing platforms has to be
taken offline, it disrupts the supply of natural gas
to the NGC or Atlantic. This is not the situation
we want to be in but it is the current reality."
Welch told the Business Guardian that the sit-
uation was also hurting all the stakeholders finan-
"It has caused significant impact. It is lost revenue
not only for the companies but all the stakeholders
including the government, upstream companies
and so on."
In two letters last year penned to the Minister
of Energy, the companies complained bitterly about
the lost in revenue. They said the Point Lisas Indus-
trial Estate suffered combined losses of
US$1,639,694,699.20 (or roughly TT$10 billion)
because of irregular natural gas supply.
In turn, the National Gas Company (NGC) lost
US$653.3 million (about TT$4.1 billion) in revenues,
the Government lost US$217.4 million (about TT$1.3
billion) in corporation tax and US$1.4 million
(TT$8.82 million) for the Green Fund.
They wrote, "PLEA even facilitated and paid for
consultants to work with the group you agreed to
form to look at the shortfall issue. Sadly, to date,
little progress has been made. Indeed, despite these
efforts, and notwithstanding numerous assurances
to the contrary, the gas curtailments continue
unabated and have been worse than forecast and
appear to have no end in sight."
There were suggestions at the Energy Chamber s
conference that the matter was unlikely to be
resolved until bpTT s latest field, Juniper, comes
onstream. But Welch said the PLEA wanted quicker
"There are avenues between now and 2017 to
make small improvements. I will hope we are pro-
gressing in that manner. I cannot speak for 2017
for Juniper. I have heard commentators say different
things including that Juniper will maintain but not
increase output so we will have to get more clar-
ification on that. There are, however, projects that
can be done between now and that time to alleviate
the situation. There is a need for collaboration
among the stakeholders."
An audit of this country s
oil and condensate
reserves shows that, at the
present rate of extraction
T&T has 17 years of oil
The audit which was conducted by Dal-
las-based firm Netherland Sewell and Asso-
ciate and completed since 2013 was only
recently made public by the Ministry of
Energy and Energy Affairs. It found that
T&T has 508.4 million barrels of oil (mmbbl)
and condensate in reserves.
According to the report, the country s
proved reserves of oil was 199.5 mmbbl, its
probable reserves 85.5 mmbbl and its possible
reserves of 124.8 mmbbl for a combined 3P
position of 409.8 mmbbl. When the con-
densate is added the report found estimated
proven reserves of condensate of 24.5
mmbbl, probable reserves of 43.5 mmbbl
and possible 38.8 mmbbl or 3P reserves of
condensate at 98.7 mmbbl. Combined with
the 3P oil reserves the report found the
country s total oil and condensate reserves
at just over half a billion barrels or 505.4
At an annual extraction rate of 30 million
barrels, this means if there is no new dis-
covery and oil production remains stable
then T&T could run out of the commodity
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine told
the Energy Chamber s annual conference
at the Hyatt Regency hotel last month that
the auditors also found the country had
almost another billion barrels of oil in
prospective resources which are essentially
undiscovered accumulations but which the
companies believe they have strong leads
in.He said: "The consultants also estimated
exploration perspective or prospective
resources which are those quantities of
petroleum which are estimated to be petro-
leum recoverable from undiscovered accu-
mulations by the application of future devel-
opment projects. They represent exploration
opportunities (identified by operating com-
panies) and quantify the development poten-
tial in the advent of a petroleum discovery
Ramnarine added: "The high estimate
of prospective resources of crude oil in
2011 based on the December 31, 2011 report
was 924.5 mmbbl of crude."
Ramnarine noted that the audit did not
include the deep water nor the three
onshore blocks that have been signed since
the audit was done and, as a result, does
not reflect the entire picture.
The Energy Minister also revealed that
BHP Billiton and its partner BP will drill
their first well in T&T s deepwater in 2016.
Ramnarine said the collapse of oil prices
has not affected the companies decision
to go into the deepwater off the Caribbean
island which has never been explored.
He said the decision to proceed with
the exploration followed the acquisition
of significant amounts of seismic data
which will be processed in 2015.
Ramnarine told the conference: "This
is a seismic programme over 20,199 square
kilometers or almost four times the size
of T&T. It is the largest seismic survey
ever conducted by an international oil
company in the history of the oil and gas
industry. That is historic and the country
and the industry have pinned significant
hope on the success of this exploration
programme by BHP Billiton."
BHP Billiton and its partners have com-
mitted to drilling 20 wells in T&T s deep-
water in the nine blocks they operate.
T&T has produced more than a billion
barrels of oil and all of that has come from
land or the continental shelf. This is the
first time the country will be drilling off
Ramnarine told the conference that BP
is also looking at drilling an exploration
well in its acreage in the Columbus basin.
This would be their first in almost a
He said: "Already working on its next
major developments---Angelin and Savan-
nah---both of which will be drilled next
year. Savannah is an exploration well and
it will be the first exploration well that
BP has drilled since the Deep Ibis Well in
2006. To accomplish this, BP plans to
bring in the Diamond Ocean Victory semi-
2013 audit: T&T has
17 years of oil left
...if no new discovery and oil production remains stable
The audit did not include the deep water nor the
three onshore blocks that have been signed since
the audit was done and, as a result, does not
reflect the entire picture.
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