Trinidad and Tobago's energy industry is not about to expire, insists the country's leading energy producer, bpTT.

On the contrary, there is significant production potential known to exist in the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA), particularly as it relates to gas, now the country's most abundant hydrocarbon.

BpTT holds most of the shallow and average water acreage in the area (the deep water acreage is dominated by BHPBilliton – see other story in this issue) and it was two of its top executives who delivered the good news to the Energy Chamber petroleum conference in mid-January.

BpTT's regional president, Norman Christie, insisted that the company “remained very positive about the remaining resource potential in our acreage,” while Giselle Thompson, vice president, corporate operations, affirmed that “there is still much untapped potential in the Columbus Basin.”

Firmly putting its money where its mouth is, the company lashed out close to US$1.5 billion on its ECMA activities in 2015, mainly on the processes associated with the establishment of its 14th offshore production facility, Juniper, but also on recompletions and other work in relation to existing producing wells.

It plans to spend about the same amount in 2016 on such initiatives as:

*AMHERSTIA platform: Finish the hydraulic workover recompletion programme and then proceed to the next phase of field development through new wells and sidetracks.

*CASHIMA platform: The Rowan EXL rig will complete its multi-zone recompletion effort in the first quarter.

*MANGO platform: A 2-4 well development initiative, using Rowan EXL 2.

*MAHOGANY: The West Jaya rig will continue its drilling on the Mahogany A platform and an additional well may be sanctioned. In the second half of the year, a 2-well recompletion programme will commence.

Beyond 2016, according to Ms. Thompson, “bpTT plans to maintain a 2-rig programme with activity in existing fields, new field development and exploration.”

The last-mentioned is particularly significant, since its only through new discoveries that bpTT can really boost its gas output (and condensate and oil, if it finds it).

Its decision to return to the exploration drill bit stems entirely from the results of its large ocean bottom cable (OBC) 3D seismic, which, says Ms. Thompson, delivered “four of the five exploration opportunities we have identified from interpretation of the seismic.”

The first exploration well is called Savannah, which will be sunk in close proximity to the Juniper development now being finalised. Savannah, if successful, will, be tied into the Juniper facility, which is 6km to the south east in water depths of 500 feet.

Savannah and the other prospective exploration sites would seem to justify the confidence both Mr. Christie and Ms. Thompson have placed in the longevity of the ECMA.