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Trinidad and Tobago projecting increase in gas production in 2019


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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 4, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago is projecting gas production to reach 3.9 million cubic feet per day this year, slightly higher than last year.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, addressing the 2019 Energy Conference and Trade Show hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, Monday said gas production in the oil-rich twin island republic is on the increase.

“In Trinidad and Tobago gas production is on the rise, increasing from 3.2 billion cubic feet per day in 2017, to 3.6 billion cubic feet in 2018 and is expected to increase to 3.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2019 as new production is brought on stream.

“We expect gas production to stabilize over the period 2020 to 2023 at approximately four billion cubic feet per day based on the level of investment to be undertaken by upstream companies and any cross-border initiatives with Venezuela,” he told the conference.

Rowley said that gas curtailment has been contained due to the increase in gas supply, which in part is due to the stability brought to the upstream sector by the settlement of domestic gas contracts, in 2017, by the National Gas Company (NGC) with EOG Resources Trinidad Limited, a local subsidiary of US-based energy company, EOG Resources, and BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT).

He said that the (NGC is currently in negotiations with Shell for a new domestic contract.

“A term sheet has been executed by the parties and a gas sales contract is being worked on. The downstream industry can therefore expect a greater reliability of gas supply in the near term,” Rowley said, noting that the current gas supply, however, does not include any contribution from the country’s deep-water blocks at this time.

“Initially, as in the case of Trinidad and Tobago, exploration was confined to land and later shallow or moderately deep-water. As resources in these areas became depleted the global industry began to move further offshore and into deeper water.”

But Rowley said as the industry moved further offshore it has had to adapt to the new and often hostile environment in the exploring for and developing of petroleum resources.

“These adaptations included, improvements in fixed and non-fixed offshore structures and floating drilling systems such as semi-submersibles. The limitations of fixed structures were soon recognized. This led to the development, for deep water drilling, of compliant structures such as, tension leg platforms, buoyant towers and articulated columns that allow for flexibility while remaining anchored to the bottom of the ocean floor.”

He said these innovations enabled operations in much deeper water. Improvements in floating offshore drilling technology have also taken the form of greater depth capability,” he said, adding these were aided by the development of more effective and accurate station-keeping such as dynamic positioning systems, mooring systems and anti-roll devices for semi-submersibles and drill-ships.

“Improved techniques and equipment were also developed for working underwater and at increasing depths, particularly in carrying out repairs on wellheads or platform components.

“The development of technology to facilitate the exploration and developing of hydrocarbon resources in deep-water has redounded to the benefit of the countries in the Caribbean region,’ Rowley added.

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