Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Upcoming auction could extend life of T&T’s gas sector beyond 2040, says former energy minister

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OilNOW is an online-based Information and Resource Centre

While he is enthused by recent announcements that Trinidad and Tobago has put 17 deepwater blocks up for auction, TT’s former Minister of Energy, Kevin Ramnarine says this bid round will be crucial to the longevity of the country’s gas sector.

In a recent note on this LinkedIn page, Ramnarine said it is in the national interest that this bid round succeeds as Trinidad and Tobago’s energy future lies with the exploration of its deepwater provinces. Be that as it may, he said there are a few observations that are key for stakeholders to note. In this regard, the former minister said this bid round stands on the shoulders of over 20 years of work and technical de-risking by the Ministry of Energy, going as far back as the original 2002 TTDAA (Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area) 2D MultiClient seismic survey over the deepwater province.  Ramnarine said further work included the 2011 reprocessed lines of the initial TTDAA survey as well as over 20,000 sq km of cumulative 3D seismic surveys over TT’s deepwater by BHP from 2014 to 2015.

Another crucial point of note he said is the fact that the Trinidad and Tobago deepwater province has now been derisked with discoveries of natural gas by BHP in the northern cluster and in the southern cluster of blocks. He noted that BHP is at present conducting appraisal drilling in the Northern cluster (TTDAA14). If all goes to plan, he said production should start by 2026.

Ramnarine noted as well that the fiscal terms used by the ministry for this bid round seem largely similar to those offered in the two previous deepwater bid rounds in 2012 and 2014 which include “a reasonable” 80% cost recovery.

In conclusion, Ramnarine posited that these ingredients are positive and should set the stage for interest in the 2022 Trinidad and Tobago deepwater bid round. He is of the firm conviction that “the deepwater has the potential to extend the life of the Trinidad and Tobago natural gas sector well into the 2040’s and beyond.”

On Tuesday, OilNOW reported that the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) which is responsible for the overall management of the oil, gas, and minerals sectors in Trinidad and Tobago will accept bids up to June 2, 2022, at 12 noon.

It said the 17 offshore deep-water blocks are: Blocks 23 (b), 24, 25 (a), 25 (b), 26, 27, TTDAA 1, TTDAA 2, TTDAA 4, TTDAA 8, TTDAA 9, TTDAA 11, TTDAA 15, TTDAA 25, TTDAA 26, TTDAA 28 and TTDAA 29, located off the northern and eastern coasts of Trinidad and Tobago. It said successful bidders will be announced three months following the close.

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