In 2018, the national spotlight was on the closure of the Petrotrin refinery and many were concerned about the availability of refined products, in particular, transport fuels. Most of these concerns appear to have been alleviated with the functioning of the new company, Paria Fuel Trading Company.
However, Heritage Petroleum has been established to focus on the exploration and production (E&P) element of Petrotrin, including Trinmar. During this transition, oil production has declined significantly, from both Petrotrin and from other producers of crude.
Crude oil production has been declining consistently since 2005. At that time, production of crude oil was over 144,000 barrels per day. This has fallen now to an average of 64,000 barrels per day in 2018 (up to November 2018).
However, when you look at the monthly data in 2018, the production showed quite a significant drop from January to November. In November, the country only produced 55,789 barrels of oil per day.
The peak of Trinidad and Tobago oil production was in 1981 when there was approximately 240,000 barrels of oil production.
If you consider this in the context of the developing oil province in neighbouring Guyana, their initial production is carded to begin in 2021 and they have projected a production rate of over 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025.
Trinidad and Tobago needs to do two things — one is to encourage more investment into exploration and the other is to increase production in the existing fields.
Companies like Touchstone Exploration have had success in boosting their production rates by drilling new wells and optimising their existing wells.
Other companies like Range Resources has had success in increasing production through water flood techniques.
There are other options for boosting production. The Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery Road Map (CERM) initiative, has been looking at options to do this, and as the name suggests, using carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as a driver. The use of C02 for enhanced oil recovery has the additional benefit of the possibility of sequestering the CO2 after the project is complete.