NGC, bpTT sign ‘milestone’ gas contract

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Energy Minister Stuart Young, from left, David Campbell, incoming bpTT president, Claire Fitzpatrick, outgoing bpTT and NGC president Mark Loquan chat after the signing of a new gas supply contract between the companies at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on Friday. Photo courtesy NGC –

The National Gas Company (NGC) has signed a gas supply contract with energy giant bpTT, which secures the future of the domestic supply for the coming years.

NGC described the contract as “a milestone” in a release issued after it was signed by NGC president Mark Loquan and bpTT’s outgoing president Claire Fitzpatrick at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on Friday.

Energy Minister Stuart Young and incoming bpTT president David Campbell witnessed the signing.

The contract is a renewal of the existing NGC/bpTT arrangement, and will govern the terms and conditions under which bpTT will continue to supply gas to NGC’s domestic customers.

In the statement, Loquan said negotiations began in earnest several months ago, and the signing represented a continued collaborative relationship between the two companies.

He said the spirit of the negotiation process was respectful, mature, productive and professional at all times, with both teams working to put the contract in place, given its importance to upstream investments.

The statement also quoted Fitzpatrick, who said the contract underpins bpTT’s future upstream investment decisions, which will contribute to the longevity of Trinidad and Tobago’s petrochemical industry. She spoke of the relationship bpTT and the NGC have maintained for decades and praised the negotiating teams for their diligent and efficient work.

Loquan thanked Fitzpatrick for her open communication during the process and the hard work by the bpTT team involved, with tight deadlines and timeframes involved.

He noted the TT energy sector still faces challenging times even with the contract in place, due to the continued decline of existing upstream gas fields, and other upstream investments which did not perform as planned. Energy efficiency, particularly gas used for power, continues to be a critical focus for NGC.

bpTT is the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market and the renewal of the contract allows NGC to secure a significant volume of gas to help fulfil domestic demand.

The statement said neither Loquan nor Fitzpatrick could disclose the details of the contract because of a confidentiality agreement, but said they acknowledged the timeliness of the signing, and the resounding commitment to the energy sector.

The statement quoted Young as describing the contract as “another critical milestone” in the future of TT’s energy sector and energy security. “NGC has stayed the course and it cannot be over emphasised how significant it is that we have negotiated and secured a future supply of gas from bpTT in advance of the expiry of the current arrangements,” he said.

He said the contract also signalled that there was still “significant value to be extracted from the country’s hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of all citizens.” He said the Government will continue to work closely with all stakeholders toward building the resilience and sustainability of the the energy sector.

In a separate release, the Energy Ministry said the contract was part of discussions Young and the Prime Minister had in London with bp CEO, global operations, Bernard Looney and other executives on September 15.

NGC and bpTT last signed a gas supply agreement in 2017, when bpTT proposed to invest US$5 billiion in future development to alleviate a gas-supply shortage. At the time, the agreement supported bpTT’s Angelin project, the Trinidad Offshore Compression, Juniper and Dragon field ventures.

The renewed contact comes as negotiations continue on the restructuring of the Atlantic LNG agreement, where a gas shortfall led to the suspension of Train I.