Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 19th 2013 Contents BG8 | ENERGY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt SEPTEMBER 2013 • WEEK THREE
Somewhere in the barrage of oil market-moving news and
monthly reports released this week we almost missed it: oil
independence for the US isn't just a dream.
The biggest clue might have come from the Energy Infor-
mation Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook report,
which said that US crude-oil production in August hit the
highest monthly level in 24 years.
That's a major step toward the energy independence the US
has been aiming for and may point to a future surplus of oil
in the global market.
The EIA also said domestic oil production is on track to
score the biggest annual growth in the history of the US oil
industry --- poised for a climb of 15.1 per cent to 7.47 million
barrels a day this year.
So far this year, US government data show that the nation
has met 87 per cent of its own energy needs, according Charles
Perry, chief executive officer at energy-consulting firm Perry
He views current drilling activity as "stable" and expects it
to last in the range of ten more years, barring any external
factors. Most importantly, "there is far more potentially pro-
ductive oil shale in the U.S. than any of us in the industry even
dreamed existed," Perry said.
So if the current drilling rate continues, the US "should be
near zero on oil imports in ten years, plus or minus," he said.
That's quite a turnaround. Not that long ago, oil independence
was not a sure thing.
And on a more global scale, with reductions in U.S. imports,
there is likely to be "a surplus of oil in the future, unless devel-
oping countries can use up this surplus," Perry said.
The boom in US production is already making a big differ-
Three monthly oil reports released this week, from the EIA,
OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA), confirmed
a sizable production climb from non-OPEC oil producers,
which include the US, and that helped to offset output losses
from Libya, Syria and others.
The latest monthly reports from the EIA and the Organisation
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries both "acknowledge the
incredible boom in US production and how it is changing the
global energy landscape," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst
at Price Futures Group.
"OPEC may be worried about weakening demand but, at
the same time, any thought of production cuts will have to
be balanced with a risk to their market share," he said.
Saudi Arabia has always been known as the swing oil producer,
one that has the means and ability to step in and make up for
any shortfalls in global output in the event of a significant drop
But Saudi Arabia had help in that role. It was "robust supply
gains in Saudi Arabia and North America" that compensated
for the sharply lower production numbers from Libya, Syria
and much of the North Sea in August, according to Matthew
Parry, senior oil analyst at the IEA.
Concerns over supplies in the Middle East, with ongoing
geopolitical uncertainty in Syria, oil disruptions in Nigeria and
political instability in Libya and Egypt, contributed to a nearly
three per cent rise in oil prices CLV3 -0.82 per cent in August.
"Short-term geopolitical tensions, of course remain a concern,
but overall the market fundamentals look reasonably secure,"
Parry told MarketWatch. (marketwatch.com)
US oil independence isn't just a dream
Nicolas Maduro will
pay an official visit to
T&T to sign an energy
ment before year's
end, ministers of government of the
two countries confirmed during a Sep-
tember 11 news conference in Caracas.
Maduro was in Trinidad in July for
a Caricom summit in Port-of-Spain.
T&T Energy and Energy Affairs Min-
ister Kevin Ramnarine on September
11 in Caracas said: "We've also discussed
with Minister Ramirez other areas of
co-operation on energy matters
between both countries. We in T&T
we look forward to the visit of President
Maduro, which should happen some
time this year, at which we could fur-
ther even more these areas of cooper-
He was speaking at the signing cer-
emony of an agreement giving legal life
to a joint committee that will govern
the 10.25 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas
field Loran Manatee.
At the same ceremony, Venezuelan
Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said
the two countries also "have been dis-
cussing, and have had several meetings
to broaden our cooperation in the area
"We are going to cooperate in refin-
ing, and we are going to prepare a doc-
ument of cooperation in the area of
energy to be signed when the two heads
of state meet at the next visit of Pres-
ident Nicolas Maduro to T&T towards
the end of this year."
Asked if Venezuela would be sending
gas to T&T, Ramirez said the gas from
Loran Manatee will be sent by pipeline
to the Gran Mariscal de Ayachuo Project
in Sucre, but added that "we have sev-
eral fields along the border, which we
could very well, if we are in agreement,
convert it into liquified natural gas
(LNG) at the installation in T&T
(Atlantic). Why? Because T&T has
made important advances in this area,
and we have gas reserves. It would all
be in the spirit of cooperation between
our two countries."
The 26.25 per cent or 2.69 tcf from
Loran Manatee that belongs to T&T
"will go to Trinidad to continue feeding
its liquified natural gas (LNG) trains,"
He said the unification of gas fields
agreement "paves the way for the
development of the projects that we
call plataforma deltana."
He said: "We are going to work
together on the way forward. We are
going to extract the gas in Loran Man-
atee. What I can tell you is that both
countries want the development of the
Loran Manatee fields to be quick,
because the Trinidad gas can continue
flowing to the tremendous infrastruc-
ture for LNG in their country, and it
will allow the gas that corresponds to
us, to be taken by pipeline to Guiria
whence it will be incorporated into
Venezuela's north eastern gas pipeline,
which will allow us to bring it into our
national system. He said the gas will
reach as far as Coro, on the other side
of the country.
Asked by when he expects to get first
gas from Loran Manatee, which will be
operated from the Venezuelan side,
"This is the work of the committee,
but we are saying that this gas, in our
case, could be entering our country in
no more than two years. In Trinidad,
the scheme will be to take advantage
of the LNG infrastructure they have on
their side so that they will be able to
utilise their gas in a more expeditious
manner. But these timelines are part
of the work of the committee."
He said the committee, which already
has a work programme, will begin work
Ramirez said: "What's important is
that we have no conflict in the manner
in which this committee will be gov-
There are three gas fields that strad-
dle the T&T-Venezuelan border. The
Loran-Manatee field is the largest with
10.25 tcf, and 73.75 per cent belongs to
Venezuela and 26.25 per cent to T&T.
In the Cocuina Manakin field, with
0.74 tcf, 66 per cent belongs to T&T
and 34 per cent to Venezuela. In the
Dorado Kapot field, with 0.31 tcf, 15,9
per cent belongs to Venezuela and 84.10
per cent to T&T.
Venezuela intends to invest US$1.5
billion to build a 276 kilometre gas
pipeline to land the gas, a release from
state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela
SA (PDVSA) said.
to visit T&T to sign
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