According to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, the latest gas reserve audit for the country established that at year-end 2020, technically recoverable resources amounted to 23.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and prospective resources at 55.2 tcf. Meanwhile, its latest oil audit established reserves at 455.3 million barrels while prospective resources amounted to 3.2 billion barrels with 90% being in its deep-water province.
Given these audit results, the Prime Minister said efforts are underway to lead an aggressive series of bid rounds to expeditiously unlock and monetise these resources since other territories are already moving in this direction, before year-end. Regionally, the Prime Minister said Suriname, Colombia and Brazil closed successful bid-rounds. Upcoming 2022 bid-rounds comprise Guyana’s deepwater blocks, Brazil’s sub-salt blocks and Ecuador’s oil blocks.
During his country’s recently concluded Energy Conference, PM Rowley said, “We have embarked on a series of bids rounds which commenced with the deepwater bid-round in December of last year.” The closing ceremony for this bid round was held on June 2, 2022, which saw deepwater acreage comprising 17 blocks receiving a poor response. Four bids were received by a consortium of BP and BG/Shell. The consortium bid on the following blocks: 25(a), 25(b), 23(b) and 27.
The CARICOM leader said another eight licensing rounds that are open, are expected to close by the end of 2022.
The Prime Minister added that his country’s series of bid-rounds continues with the onshore bid-round too. In September 2021, he said the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries invited nominations for Onshore Acreage for Competitive Bidding. He added that 11 blocks were nominated. Based on the responses, the politician said the ministry plans to launch the Onshore Competitive Bid Round within this quarter. The offshore shallow water bid round will be next. In total, there are twenty-five open shallow water blocks for consideration. A date for the launch has not yet been determined.
To increase interest in Trinidad’s oil and gas fields, the government has said it will execute a comprehensive review of its taxation regime. The review encompasses capital allowances, petroleum profit tax, supplemental petroleum tax and royalty, both onshore and offshore, in shallow water and deep water.
It is also pursuing cross-border exploration with Grenada, Venezuela and Barbados.
With the foregoing activities, Trinidad believes its oil and gas production, which met its lowest point in 18 years in 2021, is set to rise.