One of the major issues of discussion at the recently concluded Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference 2017, was the institutional capacity of key government regulatory agencies. Trinidad and Tobago is facing the prospect of further significant declines in gas production from 2019 onwards, unless final investment decisions are taken immediately to develop new gas fields, such as bpTT’s Angelin project. These major investment decisions by international oil and gas companies rely upon timely decision-making by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
The long-standing natural gas supply shortages have at last caught the attention of the Trinidad and Tobago public, with the decision of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) to shut down two of its five methanol plants on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. Industrial Plant Services Limited (IPSL), who manages the plants for MHTL, has informed the Ministry of Labour that they will have to lay off workers in response to the plant closures.
Undeniably, 2016 proved to be a challenging year for the global energy sector with worldwide energy markets experiencing the disruptive effects of depressed commodity prices. Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas sector, was not spared the impact of global trends and its challenges were in fact compounded by ongoing gas curtailment issues. The situation of reduced natural gas supply to downstream consumers has been plaguing the local sector since 2010 and analyses of the current and predicted climate indicate that it will continue into 2017. As a result, securing the volumes required to maintain and support the demands of the industry remains a critical priority for NGC.
The Caribbean nation states are well positioned to make a transformational shift toward low-carbon development, but lack the investment capital required to do so. The idea of a Caribbean carbon market (CCM) was originally mooted within the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago (ECTT), an energy sector NGO, representing the oil, gas, petrochemical and heavy industrial sectors in 2014.
Globally respected consulting firm Rystad Energy was recently commissioned by the Energy Chamber to conduct a study into the competitiveness of the Trinidad and Tobago gas industry. The study highlights the significant challenges faced by the country’s gas industry, both in terms of international competition (in particular from US shale gas) and the problem of under-investment in upstream gas development, leading to significant shortfalls in production.
LGO has been faced with difficult decisions this past year – the company was even forced to halt salaries to its directors for the past 15 months – but following a recent announcement about the refinancing of its loan facility, the company also said that drilling activity will resume at the Goudron field in Trinidad. The refinancing sees LGO shift lenders, and now that the company is no longer in default, it is now able to pursue a healthy drilling programme in 2017.
A decade after its first attempt to buy the Teak, Samaan and Poui (TSP) fields off Trinidad’s southeast coast, Anglo-French operator Perenco has announced that it has acquired a 70% operator interest in the blocks from Repsol. Perenco, in partnership with Trinidad-based conglomerate Massy, had originally made an offer to purchase the fields from bpTT, but that offer was pre-empted by Spanish oil company Repsol, which is a 30% shareholder in bpTT. Repsol acquired a 70% operator interest in the three fields, with the state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) and Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin) both owning 15%.
Range Resources, an onshore operator in Trinidad’s Morne Diablo field, has encountered success in its last well in its latest five well drilling campaign for 2016. Range actually reached oil producing depth early in its GY681 well, which, as a result, is set to lower drilling costs. The target depth was 4,500 feet, but the company achieved success more than 100 feet sooner, at 4,395 feet. Production testing is scheduled to commence this month to determine the production potential of the well.