Mike Wylie, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Petroleum, has indicated that many of the services that were previously conducted in-house at former Petrotrin, will be contracted out in the new upstream-focused state oil company. 

This means there will be significant new opportunities for contractors and service companies, he said in a recent interview with EnergyNow. Wylie adds that engagement through the contractors ensures that people undertaking work for the company will be better trained in their specialised areas and have more relevant experience. 

Prior to the shutdown, Petrotrin had 10 workover rigs in operation, Wylie said that Heritage stopped them all to ensure safety. However, since then he said that they have picked back up to 12 rigs and will go to 23 rigs soon. 

He said that this represents significant jobs being created. As Heritage grows, he says there will be more jobs created in south Trinidad through contractors rather than Heritage having a high internal employee count. 

This approach also allows more skilled technicians to be working at the contractor level, he said, adding that contractors are better at training skilled technicians than the E&P companies since the contractors must have their employees certified, so that they can work with a wide range of clients, including the major international oil and gas companies.

Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited (TPHL) has indicated that the employment base will be broadened as well as the skill base. It also allows the contractors and support services to elevate their standards of service and allows competence to be built from one company to the next thereby raising the standards within the industry. 

This is important as Heritage tries to halt the decline of production and realise growth. 

Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited (TPHL) has indicated that its priorities are stabilising the operation and getting the production back to 40,000bbl/day and then growing the production over the short to medium term through the use of technology and better work practices. 

To increase production in the long term will require significant capital investment. Heritage cannot do it on its own and will require partnerships. According to TPHL there are very good assets and acreage but to be able to develop it requires partners. 

According to Wylie, partnerships will be a key part of the growth  strategy: Large potential/high-cost developments will require partnerships; medium size/cost activity will potentially be developed in-house, while small fields/projects would be passed to smaller local companies; there will be opportunities throughout the value chain. 

He said that growth is expected to be positive but slow over the next five years, since in addition to placing focus on increasing production, the company also needs to reinvest to address asset integrity of existing facilities and infrastructure like pipeline and tanks. 

Wylie told EnergyNow that getting the right partners was very important and added that Heritage is currently evaluating subsurface conditions and then will partner with an appropriate company that has the capability to participate. He said that this would be crucial for increasing national production. 

In terms of offshore, South West Soldado is a project that will be of special focus. Wylie indicated that a specific business unit was established to understand this field. 

This project is an obvious candidate where the company would be seeking partners, he said. He added that a company with the technical and financial capacity would be desired to help make that happen.