Gas shortfall could affect Trinidad’s economic growth, says En­er­gy Cham­ber CEO

Gas shortfall could affect Trinidad’s economic growth, says En­er­gy Cham­ber CEO
Dr. Thackwray “Dax” Driver.
Dr. Thackwray “Dax” Driver.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) The fate of T&T’s con­tin­ued eco­nom­ic growth could be par­tial­ly hinged on the suc­cess of BPTT and At­lantic find­ing a so­lu­tion to the short­fall in gas sup­ply that is pro­ject­ed in 2020/2021, as fail­ure could hurt the coun­try’s rev­enue stream.

Asked about the worst-case sce­nario fol­low­ing BPTT’s re­cent dis­ap­point­ing drilling at two in­fill wells yes­ter­day, En­er­gy Cham­ber CEO Dr Thack­wray Dri­ver told Guardian Me­dia that it could lead to At­lantic’s Train 1 be­ing moth­balled.

BPTT’s pro­duc­tion is es­ti­mat­ed to de­crease by up to 300 mil­li­on stan­dard cu­bic feet per day in 2020 and 2021, a 15 per cent drop in pro­duc­tion, the com­pa­ny has con­firmed. It comes af­ter a well in the Can­non­ball field turned out to be wet, re­sult­ing in there be­ing no pro­duc­tion and an­oth­er well in the Cashima field be­ing found to have a less­er vol­ume than ex­pect­ed.

As a re­sult, BPTT said it is un­like­ly to have the 200-300 mm­scf/d that was ex­pect­ed to sup­ply Train 1 in the 2020 to 2021 pe­ri­od un­der a for­mer­ly pro­posed gas sales agree­ment be­tween it­self and At­lan­tic. But dur­ing Mon­day’s Mid-year Bud­get Re­view, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert said he ex­pect­ed lit­tle im­pact on nat­ur­al gas pro­duc­tion and that he found the con­cerns to be “alarmist.”

How­ev­er, Dri­ver feels dif­fer­ent­ly.

“I think the point to em­pha­sise is that be­cause of the one dry well and one well which is go­ing to be un­der­per­form­ing, BP has post­poned its in­fill drilling pro­gramme while it re-eval­u­ates the seis­mic mod­el. That ob­vi­ous­ly de­lays gas com­ing on­to the mar­ket. Ob­vi­ous­ly, it is some­thing which is cre­at­ing a lot of con­cern in the en­er­gy sec­tor be­cause this is a dis­ap­point­ment from a planned in­fill well, and that will have a ma­te­r­i­al im­pact on gas pro­duc­tion in 2020 and 2021,” Dri­ver said.

He said that if Train 1 is moth­balled, T&T’s econ­o­my will ex­pe­ri­ence low­er tax pro­ceeds, less for­eign ex­change and it can im­pact the coun­try’s growth fig­ures.

“This is not show­ing up in 2019, but in 2020, 2021. Ob­vi­ous­ly, the com­pa­nies are work­ing very hard, along with the Gov­ern­ment, try­ing to mit­i­gate that and try­ing to find a course of ac­tion which will cre­ate a dif­fer­ent out­come.”

Dri­ver said Mon­day’s bud­get re­view most­ly dealt with ex­pen­di­ture and there were not many changes made. He said peo­ple will, there­fore, be look­ing to­wards the 2020 fis­cal pre­sen­ta­tion for oth­er ini­tia­tives.


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