Australian company BHP announced that it has made commercial discovery of hydrocarbons offshore Trinidad and Tobago during the first quarter of 2019, on the heels of a gas discovery at the Bongos-2 well in the north last year.
The find came from the Bélé-1 exploration well for which BHP is the operator with a 70% interest. The well is located in water depth of 2,102 meters.
“The Deepwater Invictus rig mobilised to Trinidad and Tobago for Phase 3 of our deepwater drilling campaign. This includes three wells testing three prospects in our Northern licences around the Bongos discovery. Bélé-1, the first of these wells, was spud on March 2, 2019 and encountered hydrocarbons. Drilling is still in progress and our assessment is ongoing,” BHP said in an operational review of the nine-month period ended March 31, 2019.
Further, the review said that BHP’s natural gas production “increased by four per cent to 299 bcf, reflecting increased tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of our Production Sharing Contract and higher uptime at North West Shelf.” It said that this increase was partially offset “by planned maintenance at Trinidad and Tobago in the December 2018 quarter, the impact of Tropical Cyclone Veronica and natural field decline across the portfolio.”
According to earlier reports, BHP Group Ltd had stepped up exploration drilling in deep water off Trinidad and Tobago with a view to finding gas to supply the country’s Atlantic LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant in the 2020s.
Niall McCormack, BHP’s vice president for exploration, was quoted at the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston as saying that the company expects to complete drilling of three wells in block 14, located in its northern contract area, by the middle of this year.
“It’s an attractive opportunity so we’re looking to de-risk it a bit more, so we’ve got a bit more drilling to do,” he said.