Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2015 Contents BG8 ENERGY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 2015 • WEEK FOUR
needs to move ahead and
build the facilities in its
South West Soldado field
to ensure it benefits from
the estimated 100 million
barrels of oil in the field.
That is according to Energy Expert Dr
Krishna Persad, the man who was part of
the team that discovered the field more than
a quarter of a century ago.
Speaking with the Business Guardian on
Tuesday, Dr Persad said, "I have no idea of
the veracity of the allegations that are now
swirling around in relation to this project
but what I know is that there is at least 100
million barrels of good quality oil there that
is not being produced."
South West Soldado has been shut down
due to poor infrastructure for more than 20
years and, as part of the company's efforts
to restart the field, Petrotrin has apparently
run into problems.
The Sunday Express has published a series
of reports that have led to allegations of
corruption including a "failed shipyard expe-
dition to the United States, insider infor-
mation provided to a small Mexican firm
and the theft of US$750,000 (TT$4.794
million) in public funds."
Dr Persad said the field would significantly
help Petrotrin's crude production and, by
extension, reduce its reliance on imported
"I think once they get gas injection in
lifting the crude we will see it able to easily
product 10,000 barrels of oil per day."
If that occurs, it would mean an almost
18 per cent increase in the company's crude
According to Petrotrin, the project is
divided into three phases.
Phase I comprises:
• The installation of a temporary com-
pression and production facility
• Drilling of eight new wells
• Reactivation and workovers of off wells
• Installation of a new gas gales line
• Installation of additional infrastructure
and Submarine Pipelines to accommodate
the increased production of fluids (inclusive
of gas lifting capability for the reactivated
wells), including the replacement of the
company's main oil-to-shore bulk line from
RP10 to RP1.
The company said, in the second phase,
the facilities will be expanded and infra-
structure put in while engaging in sustained
drilling and workovers for optimisation of
Dr Persad said he was also hopeful that
Petrotrin's announced drilling programme
will lead to more discoveries onland. He
said the 3D-seismic survey which was con-
ducted over some of the company's on-land
prospects was a good start and, depending
on where they drill, Petrotrin should make
"It really depends on the horizons because
there are different horizons to drill depending
on where the well is being spudded. But,
lot of potential available on land for new
He added that the company also had to
drill enough well to avoid ending up in
"In other words if they are drilling and
the find rate is 30 per cent then they will
have to drill at least four wells to be sure
of a discovery."
Oil producers outside OPEC must co-
operate to boost falling crude prices,
Saudi Arabia's oil minister has said.
"We refuse to take responsibility alone because (OPEC)
produces 30 per cent of market output and 70 per cent
comes from outside," Ali al-Naimi said in remarks
carried Monday by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Crude prices slumped by about 60 per cent between
June and February, weighed down by a glut of global
supplies and concerns about stalling demand.
The slide was exacerbated in November when the
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) refused to cut production to rescue falling prices,
saying it wanted to maintain its market share.
The 12-member group, led by top producer Saudi
Arabia, pumps around a third of the world's oil but
other major producers, such as Russia, are not tied by
Asked whether OPEC would be willing to work with
non-members, Naimi pointed to the crash of 1998 when
the cartel co-operated with other producers to cut
output and support oil prices.
"Today, the situation is difficult. We tried, met with
them but did not succeed because they insisted that
OPEC should take the responsibility alone," said Naimi,
in reference to talks with non-OPEC producers ahead
of the cartel's meeting in November.
"All must contribute if we want to improve prices
because it is in the interest of all," the Saudi minister
Naimi said the kingdom had the capacity to supply
any new client with crude.
Saudi Arabia had no objection to new oil producers
joining OPEC, he said, adding that several countries
have in the past turned down invitations to become
members of the cartel.
The Saudi minister also defended the oil policy of
gulf states, saying they were taking measures to stabilise
"We are not against anyone. We are with all to support
stability in the market and to support a balance between
supply and demand," Naimi said.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners have been criticised
for allegedly using oil as a political weapon against
countries within and outside OPEC.
Bloomberg News quoted Naimi as saying on Sunday
that his country is producing almost 10 million barrels
of crude a day.
Saudi Arabia pumped 9.85 million barrels a day in
February, according to Bloomberg.
South West Soldado
field will boost Petrotrin
Energy expert Dr Krishna Persad:
Saudi urges non-OPEC
members to co-operate
to move prices
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