The Rowan Joe Douglas jack-up rig has commenced its drilling campaign for Angostura Phase 3, with BHP Billiton reporting that the project is progressing on schedule. This is the latest development of the Angostura Field, located approximately 38 kilometers off the north-east coast of Trinidad. Subsea installation is expected to take place in early 2016, with first production expected to come online in September 2016. BHP reported that the project is expected to deliver 2.8 million barrels of incremental oil and between 400 billion and 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas. 

The Angostura Phase 3 project has been in the making since November 2013, when BHP signed an agreement with the Trinidad and Tobago government to extend the PSC for block 2(c) for an additional five years – which effectively extended production from 2021 to 2026. 

Phases 1 and 2 of production from the Angostura field consisted of the onset of oil and gas production, respectively. Oil production from the Angostura field commenced in 2005, and marked the first offshore oil production from this new geologic play in the Oligocene. At the time, the Kairi and Canteen oil fields, within the greater Angostura field, were the first new oil reservoirs to have been identified anywhere in Trinidad and Tobago for 33 years. Gas production from the field commenced in 2011, with Angostura Phase 2. 

Vincent Pereira, Country Manager for BHP Billiton Trinidad and Tobago, told Energy Now, “We are proud of the Angostura Field story, from its initial discoveries in 1996 to first oil in 2005 – to first gas in 2011. We are confident about the future capacity of the Field and view Angostura Phase 3 as another example of BHP Billiton’s commitment to long-term investment in Trinidad and Tobago.” 

The construction and fabrication of the subsea infrastructure for Angostura Phase 3 is being undertaken by EMAS AMC, the subsea division of the Singapore-based Ezra Group. Construction is taking place at their Marine Base facility in Ingleside, Texas. A press release from Ezra states that the total scope of work includes the project management, fabrication, construction and installation of 12-inch flowline along with a complete subsea package comprised of control umbilicals and detailed engineering, construction and installation of the pipeline end manifold and inline sled. Offshore execution will be undertaken utilising the Lewek Express subsea construction and reel lay vessel. 

In the press release Mr Lionel Lee, Ezra Group CEO and Managing Director is reported as saying, “I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with BHP Billiton on this key development in Trinidad and Tobago, which is an exciting new market for us.” 

In their release to Energy Now, BHP stated that the decision to undertake the construction in the USA was due to cost considerations and the scope of the project. Despite the decision to undertake subsea construction in Texas, BHP report that investment in local capability remains on the central agenda for Angostura Phase 3, pointing to items such as the rental and installation of temporary living quarters, provision of crane operation services, fabrication of topside piping, valves and skids, topside construction and commissioning, and the provision of drilling services. 

BHP also reported that Angostura Phase 3 has created several unique opportunities for Trinidad and Tobago nationals to develop skills. For example, BHP Billiton has collaborated with The University of the West Indies’ paleontology faculty and graduate students, enabling the students to execute biostratigraphic sampling. Additionally, arrangements are being made for Trinidad and Tobago personnel to be trained in order to support wellsite and geology operations for the project. 

“BHP Billiton’s first Charter value is sustainability – which involves working collaboratively with our communities”, commented Vincent Pereira, “which means that local capability development has always been an important area of focus for us, and we are very pleased that we have been able to use the Angostura Phase 3 project to deepen the capabilities of our citizens”.