Trinidad and Tobago’s gas production is set to record its second year of growth in 2018, after years of falling production post the 2010 peak and hitting a low point of just 3.33 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in 2016. Speaking in Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament in the debate on the 2018-2019 national budget, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan, outlined the projected gas production through 2022.

Source: Ministry of Energy Consolidated Bulletins and national budget presentation 2018

Source: Ministry of Energy Consolidated Bulletins and national budget presentation 2018

The current projections indicate continued growth through 2021, when production is predicated at 4.14 bcf/d, meeting expected demand from existing plants. Trinidad and Tobago’s peak natural gas production occurred in 2010 at 4.3 bcf/d. 

With existing wells showing average annual declines in production of approximately 12-15 per cent per annum, the increase in gas production is expected to come from both new fields being brought into production, in addition to compression projects and additional development drilling from existing platforms. 

In terms of new field development, projects that are currently either in execution or in advanced planning stages include BPTT’s Angelin field, Shell’s Bounty and Endeavour fields, all off Trinidad’s east coast. In addition, Shell is developing its Colibri project off the north coast, while DeNovo is due to bring the country’s first offshore west coast field, Iguana, into production imminently. Of these projects, Angelin, due to come onstream in early 2019, will be the biggest, accounting for a peak production of about 550 million standard feet of gas per day (mmscf/d). BPTT is also executing an offshore compression project with a new platform, Cassia C, due to be installed to increase production from existing east coast fields. 

It is unclear if the much anticipated import of gas from the Dragon field in Venezuela, via the Hibiscus platform, is included in the projected gas production figures given by the Minister of Energy in Parliament. 

While these new field developments will significantly offset declining production from existing fields, continued investment is needed in new exploration drilling if Trinidad and Tobago is to maintain a plateau of production above 4.0 bcf/d into the next decade. 

In this regard, Minister Khan announced further positive news that Trinidad and Tobago’s national gas reserves had increased in 2017, according to the report of the independent auditors, Ryder Scott. While the Minister gave few details in his Parliamentary presentation, he stated that the Ryder Scott annual audit report showed a 154 per cent reserve replacement rate in 2017. Khan stated that, ‘there is very encouraging news in the gas sector and I want to say for the first time since 2004, this country, which uses close to 1.3 trillion cubic feet annually, did not just replace all the gas we used but also added 53 per cent more gas than we consumed’. 

While the Minister did not provide further details, the assumption would be that the additional reserves came primarily from the Savannah and Macadamia exploration wells drilled by BPTT in 2017. According to BP, these two wells unlocked approximately two trillion cubic feet (tcf ) of gas in place and their proximity to existing infrastructure helping the feasibility of the projects. The Macadamia well tested targets below the existing SEQB discovery, which sits 10 kilometres south of the producing Cashima field and would be developed through a new platform, while the Savannah well was drilled into an untested fault block east of the Juniper field. It is anticipated this field would be developed through a tie-back to the Juniper platform installed last year.