Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2015 Contents The next Minister of Energy must move
quickly to get an agreement with Venezuela
for the development of the Loran/Manatee
gas field to help reduce the continued shortage
of natural gas that has hurt the downstream
sector and Atlantic LNG. The advice is coming
from Professor Andrew Jupiter of the University
of the West Indies and former Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Energy
In an interview with the Business Guardian,
Professor Jupiter dealt with what he said are
three major challenges that the next govern-
ment must grapple with: the continued natural
gas shortages, the need to increase crude oil
production and returning investment to the
On the issue of the natural gas curtailment
Professor Jupiter told BG that the country
needed to produce 4.2 billion cubic feet per
day to meet its demand and at present it was
only producing close to 4bcf. He said this sit-
uation was likely to continue for a time and
that the coming on stream of the Juniper plat-
form will make no real difference.
He said: "Juniper will simply be replacement
gas. The next Minister of Energy and the next
government must use all the country s talent
and energy to expedite the coming on stream
of the Loran/Manatee field and I think that
the time could be right." Jupiter explained.
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine has argued
that when bpTT brings on stream its Juniper
it will bring a solution to the natural gas cur-
tailment that has caused the country to lose
billions of dollars in revenue from the energy
Professor Jupiter went on: "I was in a con-
ference in Maracaibo at which I told them that
the Loran/Manatee field that we know has at
least 10 tcf and some argue could have as
much as 25 tcf should be produced initially in
Trinidad and Tobago. We already have a market
for an additional 400 mmcf/d in the down-
stream sector and if Atlantic was built in such
a way that it can expand to another train. In
addition the infrastructure is already in place.
So I think that we need o urgently address
this situation and seek to bring that gas into
The former Permanent Secretary also called
for negotiations with bpTT for the production
of smaller pools of gas that the company has
but will not produce because of economies of
"We need to negotiate with the country s
number one gas producer, mainly because the
others don t have acreage to bring on stream.
We have to develop the 200 bcf gas fields,
those smaller fields should come on stream
as a stop gap measure and we already have
the legislation for sub licenses offshore but
that has not been successful and we will have
to encourage BP to develop or have others
develop those small fields similar to what hap-
pened on land." Professor Jupiter advises.
He also warned that the country had to be
careful about the notion that the older less
efficient plants should make way for newer
plants, pointing out that it may very well be
that the older plants are of greater economic
value to the government than the newer plants
when one considers their rates of taxation and
the price they pay for natural gas to the Nation-
al Gas Company.
Professor Jupiter who for decades served in
the Ministry of Energy as Chief Technical
Officer, as Permanent Secretary and as Pres-
ident of the National Energy Corporation said
the role of the NGC had to be examined but
warned that a future government should not
yield to pressure by those who suggest that
the NGC should not be the buyer and seller
of natural gas in the country.
He said: "You have to remember that the
natural gas sector in Trinidad and Tobago is
unique and it does not have as many players
as in Europe and therefore the role of the NGC
must be seen in that context. Further the NGC
has special gas pricing arrangements for the
provision of gas for electricity and that must
be kept in mind."
Professor Jupiter makes it clear that the
country simply does not have any gas at the
moment for a new plant and said sources of
additional supply needed to be found. He
pointed out that deepwater gas would not be
available until 2030.
"Until the bit turns to the right, there is
hope. Only then can one determine from your
find if it is commercially viable to produce
and if it is commercial it will not be produced
until 2028 or 2030." Professor Jupiter said of
The University Professor also argued that
the country was way behind when it came to
negotiations for new natural gas agreements
and on Atlantic LNG Train 1.
He said the new government cannot con-
tinue with the Train 1 arrangements as they
are and must push for benefits along the entire
LNG value chain.
He said the government will also have to
decide where the greatest value for its natural
gas since train 1 uses 425mmcf/d and the
country is short by almost the same amount.
Professor Jupiter tells the next Minister of
Energy that in order to increase oil production
the country must invest in greater recovery
by using carbon dioxide.
He said more oil can be found where oil
already exists and in that respect secondary
recovery methods must be employed. He
pointed to the acreage held by Petrotrin as
the place for the increased oil production and
also said the smaller lease operators and farm
outs should also be encouraged to use CO2 to
increase oil production. He said UWI was also
researching the use of radio frequency heating
and he was hopeful this can also be used in
recovery of crude oil.
Professor Jupiter said more oil was likely
to be found onland and land drilling was likely
to be successful as well as deep water drilling.
Professor Jupiter said the country had to
also consider what he called more organic
plants, those that would use less gas when it
is seeking to attract plants to the country. He
said Trinidad and Tobago does not have the
resources at present to attract large plants and
added that the price of natural gas will go up
and therefore there was the issue of whether
plants will be able to successfully compete
with plants in the US.
As a parting piece of advice, the former
Permanent Secretary turned University Pro-
fessor urged the next Minister of energy to be
aware of geopolitics.
He said, "The next Energy Minister and
government must know we are part of the
global world order and geopolitics affects us.
So we must be aware of the geopolitics and
factor than in our deliberations."
JUNE 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENERGY | BG9
Former PS Jupiter's advise for next minister
T&T's three energy challenges
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