Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley has signaled the twin island Republic’s intention to boost its natural gas production significantly before the end of this year. But the possibility does not exist, according to the former Minister of Energy, Kevin Ramnarine.
In a recent article, Ramnarine outlined that T&T has no natural gas project from this year up until 2027 to push its natural gas production above 3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd).
“We have heard that production will soon ramp up and all will be well etc. but there will be no ramp-up in 2022 or in 2023 or anytime soon,” Ramnarine noted.
T&T’s natural gas output hit its lowest in 18 years last year, and this is a big part of why the country could not be celebratory about high natural gas prices and high ammonia prices in recent months.
T&T has several gas projects on the cards for start-up this year, but they will do nothing to alleviate the dire situation.
The former Energy Minister pointed to BP’s Cassia C compression project that is expected to come into production by late 2022. It involves the installation of a new platform – Cassia C, for compressing the gas produced by the nearby existing fields in the Greater Cassia Area. The Cassia C platform would be capable of processing 1.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscfd), following commissioning.
But this will simply be “backfilling” for acute declines in BP’s production in the last two years, Ramnarine pointed out.
“There is no project from 2022 to 2027 that could take the country’s production of natural gas back above 3 bcfd. Current planned efforts from BP, Shell and EOG will simply add volumes that will be combating decline,” he explained.
For Ramnarine, T&T’s best hope for 2022 to 2027 is to uphold production numbers. In a worst-case scenario, the former T&T Energy Minister said national production could fall under 2.5 bcfd and may even get dangerously close to 2.0 bcfd by 2026.
“My understanding of the numbers also indicates that two of our five natural gas producers could be out of business by 2026. We have already seen the consequences of reduced natural gas supply with the closure of Atlantic Train 1, Titan Methanol, MHTL’s M1 plant and the Yara ammonia plant so will there be more closures in the coming years?” he asked.