Shell, NGC sign amended sales contract for Manatee field development

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The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) and Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Shell) have officially inked an amended Domestic Gas Sales Contract (DGSC) that includes a share of natural gas volumes from the Shell-operated Manatee field once the project is sanctioned. It is currently awaiting environmental authorisation. 

The signing ceremony, held at the Hilton Trinidad and Tobago Conference Centre on September 22, was attended by Stuart Young, Trinidad’s Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, along with senior executives from both organisations. This amended DGSC empowers NGC to acquire gas produced from one of the country’s largest offshore fields, reinforcing the supply of natural gas to the downstream sector over the medium term.

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In 2019, Trinidad and Tobago, along with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, entered into an agreement allowing each nation to independently exploit their respective shares of hydrocarbon resources from the Loran-Manatee Gas field, which straddles the maritime border between the two countries. Shell and NGC are diligently collaborating to monetise this valuable reserve, with Shell as the development and production operator and NGC managing the receipt and processing of the gas through its Beachfield facility.

Eugene Okpere, Senior Vice President and Country Chair of Shell Trinidad and Tobago emphasized Shell’s commitment to partnering with the government to achieve energy security, adding “Today also marks a critical step toward enabling Shell’s next milestone of Final Investment Decision for the development of the Manatee project.” 

NGC’s President, Mark Loquan, expressed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts that led to this milestone agreement. He acknowledged the significance of the Manatee field for Trinidad and Tobago, highlighting that each step taken toward bringing the field online enhances the nation’s prospects for future domestic gas supply. 

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While recognising that there is still work ahead before accessing gas from Manatee, Loquan affirmed their commitment to the project’s success and their optimism regarding its realisation through collaboration with all stakeholders.

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.

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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