Shell initiates environmental clearance process for Manatee project in TT 

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Shell has officially commenced the process of seeking environmental clearance for the highly anticipated Manatee project in Trinidad & Tobago. 

The application for a certificate of environmental clearance (CEC) has been submitted to Trinidad & Tobago’s Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the country’s environmental regulator, according to information released by the Energy Chamber. 

The Manatee project represents the TT portion of the Loran-Manatee field, which straddles the maritime boundary between the Twin Island Republic and Venezuela. The combined Loran-Manatee field boasts an estimated resource of 10.04 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, with 2.712 tcf within the Manatee portion. Situated approximately 100 km off the east coast of Trinidad in an average water depth of 105 metres (340 feet), the Manatee project is poised to become the largest new east coast field development in recent years. It holds the potential to sustain gas supplies to both domestic and export markets, as well as enable future growth opportunities.

McDermott will perform front-end work for Shell’s Manatee development in Trinidad | OilNOW 

As part of the CEC process, Shell has made extensive project information available to the public for comments. The project is of significant importance, with an estimated cost of approximately US$1.8 billion. Shell anticipates the commencement of gas production by the first quarter of 2028 upon CEC approval. The execution phase is expected to span approximately 3.5 years, with 2.5 years allocated to site operations and an operations phase lasting 13 years.

The Manatee field has a storied history, with exploration and appraisal activities dating back to its discovery in 1983. Reservoir depths range from 2,000 to 4,500 feet true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS) and associated pressure ranges from 980 to 2,100 psi.

The project’s development approach shifted when a unitisation agreement for the entire Loran-Manatee field was terminated in 2019. Since then, both the governments of Trinidad and Venezuela have committed to independent development within their respective marine areas.

Shell, the operator of the Manatee field with a 100% working interest, intends to drill eight new development wells from an offshore platform. Recovered hydrocarbons will be delivered to shore via a new gas pipeline, processed at the National Gas Company’s (NGC) existing Beachfield Facility, and made available for sale to both export and domestic markets.

The environmental clearance submission from Shell highlights six key elements of the project, including drilling new wells, installing and commissioning an unmanned offshore platform, and upgrading the Beachfield Facility to increase capacity.

This project is pivotal for Trinidad which has seen declining natural gas production affecting its downstream petrochemical and LNG export industry. The Manatee field’s new gas production is expected to mitigate these effects, along with other large-scale projects like Woodside’s Calypso deepwater gas development, aimed at securing natural gas for the downstream industry.

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